Saturday, March 26, 2005

Of Psalm 59, wind and hope

I've been dealing with Psalm 59 today, trying to come up with something to enter in the contest for the psalm fest. (I have a beginning of something. I hesitated to blog about it at all, because I don't want to somehow taint the competition, but I decided this was worth it). Anyway, I read Psalm 59 a number of times today, trying to figure out what's going on, how I can enter into the psalm and understand it, what I could possibly bring to such apparantly reasonable anger from MY experience. And I'm having a tough time. But the angle I did find has to do with the movement of the psalmist in the psalm from fear and finger-pointing toward confidence in God and security in his (her?) own position as a child of God. It is as though just invoking God in what is a terrible, inescapable situation is enough to give the Psalmist hope.

Tonight at thorubos Gary Schmidt came to talk with us about his book Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy and he told us a story - a jewish folk story - about a man in Warsaw in the jewish ghetto who takes God to trial before the rabbi. He charges God with not keeping his promises to his people. While the trial is going on this man is outside waiting, and a warm wind comes and surrounds him. And it is the presence of God. And even though the guilty verdict comes through, this presence is enough of an affirmation for him. God's presence brings hope even in horrible dispair. Schmidt used this idea in the way the sea breeze plays and comforts and sometimes represents the presence of God in his novel. And I wonder if it's the same presence that seems to sooth the psalmist in Psalm 59.

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