I Want to Write a Psalm

I want to write a psalm. 

Like David, crippled with anguish, running with fear. I want to throw on some sackcloth and ashes and write a lament—how long, oh Lord? Have you forgotten me? Don't turn your face away, please. 

I want to write a psalm. But I'm no David. David fled a vindictive, jealous friend-turned-powerful-enemy. My friends stand around me, let me cry on their shoulders. David sheltered in caves, feared for his life. I set a thermostat to my comfort level, enjoy a body free of pain. David—after God's own heart. Me—maybe I'm just weak. 

I Want to Write a Psalm // emilyfisk.com

Besides, children are dying in Aleppo. Friends are preparing for first holidays without dead parents. Lonely divorces, sick spouses, injustice, violence—they're all there, reminding me I'm privileged, that maybe I won some cosmic lottery of birth and place and I'll never know some dark truths the way others do. There are countless thousands with resumes of suffering far more impressive than mine. 

Clearly, I'm under qualified to write a psalm.

But His eye is on the sparrow—right? He loves to give good gifts, so I've read. I could use a good gift tonight. I can't quite wrap my head around it, but my heart tells me He has no litmus test for whose pain He'll give ear to. I'm in pain, and maybe the guilt I'm adding on (the guilt that says: you're fine, get over it, stop and move on) isn't helping. Maybe if I can't believe He cares about my bumps and bruises and skinned knees (in the grand scheme of creation) then I can't accept His offered comfort. 

So I'll write a psalm. And it'll say:


Deliver me, O Lord.

My children are well but

most days I can't love them

like I should.


Deliver me, O Lord.

The bills and the worries and the guilt pile up

and threaten to pull me under 

dark waves of overwhelm. 


Deliver me, O Lord.

I'm weak and uncoordinated 

in my attempts at selflessness. 

I falter under the burdens

I want to shoulder bravely.


Deliver me, O Lord.

I have these four walls surrounding me, 

but some days they're a prison, 

and I'm a frantic animal, wide-eyed within them.


Deliver me, O Lord.

Forgive me for seeking only human approval; 

a potent anesthetic, I'm 

delirious and numb with it. 


Deliver me, O Lord.

You're merciful, so you'll 

look past my pettiness, my underdeveloped 

spiritual muscles, won't you? 

You'll hear me, though my problems

fail to impress?


Deliver me, O Lord.


You are a God who rescues.




FaithEmily Fisk