Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Poet Who Can't Sing

“And I'll be the poet who sings your glory and live what I sing every day.” Psalm 61:8 The Message.

I am going through one of those dry desert experiences right now.

A number of weeks ago I was meandering around the gallery at Inverness Museum, soaking up a exhibition based on people’s responses to the poetry of Robert Burns. One of the commentaries on one of his poems made the point that Burns used poetry to respond to life. Whatever he noticed in the world, whatever caught his imagination or touched his heart – he would respond with poetry.

I love the concept of responding with poetry to what catches my imagination, or touches my heart. Right now, however, I feel that nothing is really doing that. I suppose part of it is that my attention is focused on my sister and the progression of her illness.

Reading a commentary on Psalm 61, Matthew Henry has this to say - “Weeping must quicken praying, and not deaden it. God's power and promise are a rock that is higher than we are. This rock is Christ. On the Divine mercy, as on a rock, David desired to rest his soul; but he was like a ship-wrecked sailor, exposed to the billows at the bottom of a rock too high for him to climb without help. David found that he could not be fixed on the Rock of salvation, unless the Lord placed him upon it.”

Weeping for me has just been plain weeping. The prayer doesn’t always come. God is speaking His word into the situation and for a while is encourages and strengthens, but I suppose I am like that ship-wrecked sailor, clinging to the bottom of a rock that I am too weak and battered to climb. I don’t need to do the climbing. All I need to do is the calling out. God will do the lifting. He will place me feet upon the rock that is higher than I – the Rock of Christ that is higher than the billowing waves that threaten to engulf me.

As for the poems that sing of God’s glory – they will come in time.

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