My Old Testament Intro I class was assigned to write an original Psalm using the style in scripture. This is mine.
God who loves all,
____God who is kind and gives to everyone,
Where are you, God?
____And where is your spirit?
Why do storms strike the coast and kill the innocent,
____And why do you allow evildoers to make children soldiers?
How can I praise God for goodness done to me
____When violence is done to others
And has been throughout history
____And God does not intervene?
God, come soon,
____And do not long be so far off.
Hear the cries of the poor and the broken,
____And do not harden your heart
____against the people you have made.
Put an end to the evildoing of the wicked,
____And may your righteous judgment save them from their sins
____And save all who suffer from them.
But rain brings life for everyone;
____The sun warms the faces of all.
Flowers infiltrate prison camps
____And human kindness slips into the darkest places.
But where no good gifts appear,
____When only suffering, pain, and tragedy remain,
I remember the cross,
____The day God joined our suffering.
The assignment was to match the form of a Psalm type, and mine most closely matched the lament form. But it was missing two key elements: Address of Praise, and Petition for Deliverance. I added the first two lines as an address of praise easily, but then I only had the first and last stanzas. I still had to put a petition in the middle. And the petition required faith.
I hate asking for things, mostly because I hate being disappointed. It’s easier for me to ask God for vague things, like strength and to take care of people. Even then, I don’t expect too much of God. Sometimes when I’m desperate, I pray. But with the sort of things I was dealing with in this Psalm, there was no clean exit strategy. I had to ask for things directly related to the first section. I felt my heart crack when I realized that to finish this assignment, I had to put myself out there. I had to ask God for something I actually wanted. And that left me vulnerable, vulnerable to disappointment. And I think… maybe that’s faith.