Psalm 64 (Psalms on the Trail)

Psalm 64:6-7

They say, “Who will see us?  Who will find out our crimes?  We have thought out a perfect plot.”

For the human heart and mind are a mystery.  Psalm 64: 6,7.

Reflection:  The photo above looks into the heart of a dying tree hanging onto the edge of a rock face.  The folds of its inner life are exposed to those who stop here for lunch.  Its curves and knots are a suitable backdrop perhaps to the fact that I’ve been watching the “Father Brown” mysteries over the winter.  The parish priest is better at solving the community’s murders than the police, a fact which annoys the chief inspector to no end.  But Father Brown is curious, observant, patient, and persistent.  Above all, he has an intuition into the twists and turns of the human heart.  Invariably, of course, he solves the mystery.

Although I am not plotting any crimes, my inner heart and mind are still quite a tangle of mixed motives, repressed thoughts, and dubious intentions.  So questions of discernment—whether some thing or some direction is good or harmful, wise or foolish, selfish or serving, etc.— are not always obvious and almost never black or white.  I can make a good rationalization about almost anything.  I try to pay prayerful attention to how God might be guiding, hoping that God knows my twists and turns better than I know myself.  The psalmist indicates later in the psalm that God indeed is the only one who can cut through all my crap.  Okay, the psalmist doesn’t say it quite like that—more like: “God will make them trip over their tongues.”  More than once, I ‘ve had to take back what I thought and said or planned because further reflection revealed that I had was blind to a whole other aspect.  The prayer for Psalm 64 from “Psalms for All Seasons” is helpful today:

 “Victorious God, …come and break into the darkest places of our lives with the dazzling light of your hope and the unshakable promise of your love.  Inspire us with the power of your spirit so we will follow wherever you may lead.  Amen.”


1. Take this verse with you and ponder its meaning for you throughout the day.  What do you notice?  What do you wonder?  Any mysteries in your life today?

2. Or read all of Psalm 64 to discover how this verse fits into the psalm or to discover a different verse.

3. Or comment with a photo of your own that illustrates this verse’s meaning for you.

Tomorrow’s verse is from Psalm 65:9.

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.