Psalm 123 (Psalms on the Trail)

Psalm 123

“So our eyes look to you, O Lord our God, until you show mercy.

Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy, for we have had more than enough…”

Psalm 123:2-3

Did you know that there is an eye at the end of each antenna on this land snail?  The snail can move its antennae around to adjust its view.  I have no idea if it could see me hovering over it.  It would be interesting, I think, to know exactly what a snail does see and what it cares about seeing.

What do we see when we look to God?  We can’t see with our eyes.  I was in conversation about this today with one who is a spiritual mentor.  We traced the ways we had seen God guiding next steps in our lives.  Often the way our eyes see God is by a stir of restlessness that beckons to explore, a word of scripture that shimmers like a blessing, a song that sinks deep into tears, an understanding that pulls us into a spacious new place.  It is a subtle way of seeing, different kind of eyes.  It is to see before we know we’re seeing—like a newborn.

But the last conversation of the day evoked a cry for mercy.  A friend with Parkinson’s, the spiral of struggle, the limitations, the ineffectiveness of medication, the loss of what I can say in response….except Lord, show him your mercy, have mercy upon him, have mercy, he’s had more than enough….And my long day of conversations about eyes and mercy comes to an end.

So when I see God with my strange snail god-turned eyes, can I see mercy tonight? It takes a different way of seeing.


1. Take this verse with you and ponder its meaning for you throughout the day.  Where can you see God’s mercy? Who needs your prayers for God’s mercy?

2. Or read the whole psalm to find out how this one 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 124:7,8.

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 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.