Psalm 120 (Psalms on the Trail)

Psalm 120: 6,7

Photograph of a welcome pole in the native peoples lodge we stayed at on Quadra Island in British Columbia

“Too long have I had to live among the enemies of peace.

I am on the side of peace, but when I speak of it,

they are for war.”  Psalm 120: 6,7

Today I offer a poem by Jan Richardson posted on her blog “The Painted Prayerbook.”  I am sure the psalmist of the words above would understand exactly what she is saying.

Blessing in a Time of Violence

Which is to say
this blessing
is always.

Which is to say
there is no place
this blessing
does not long
to cry out
in lament,
to weep its words
in sorrow,
to scream its lines
in sacred rage.

Which is to say
there is no day
this blessing ceases
to whisper
into the ear
of the dying,
the despairing,
the terrified.

Which is to say
there is no moment
this blessing refuses
to sing itself
into the heart
of the hated
and the hateful,
the victim
and the victimizer,
with every last
ounce of hope
it has.

Which is to say
there is none
that can stop it,
none that can
halt its course,
none that will

still its cadence,
none that will
delay its rising,
none that can keep it
from springing forth
from the mouths of us
who hope,
from the hands of us
who act,
from the hearts of us
who love,
from the feet of us
who will not cease
our stubborn, aching
marching, marching

until this blessing
has spoken
its final word,
until this blessing
has breathed
its benediction
in every place,
in every tongue:

Peace.
Peace.
Peace.

— Jan Richardson

– See more at: http://paintedprayerbook.com/2015/11/16/blessing-in-a-time-of-violence/#sthash.91RrZNRK.dpuf

Suggestions:

1. Take this verse with you and ponder its meaning for you throughout the day.  What do you notice?  What do you wonder?  What connection strikes between the photograph, the psalm verse and the poem?

2. Or read the whole psalm to find out how this verse fits into the whole.

3. Or comment with a photo of your own that is a window of this psalm’s meaning for you.

The next post will be on Psalm 121:8.

Starting January 1, 2016, for 150 days I am posting a daily psalm verse with a photo that is a visual meditation on the text for me.  Each day a verse from the next psalm is chosen until all 150 psalms have been featured.   To participate you may subscribe to my blog at http://elainedent.net or “friend” me on Facebook and watch for the daily links to blog posts.  Disclaimer:  I am not a photographer and most of the photos are from a cell phone or small camera while hiking the Appalachian Trail or the C&O Canal/Great Allegheny Passage Trail.