Psalm 74 (Psalms on the Trail)

psalm 74:19

“Do not forget the soul of your dove to the wild animals.  

Do not forget the life of your poor for ever.”  Psalm 74:19

Reflection:  I do not know what kind of bird this is; certainly not the psalmist’s dove, but, after checking with a bird book,  perhaps a rock wren.  I walked this trail when I was on retreat at Holden Village in the Cascades of Washington State.  It is very different from the east coast, including it’s birds.  This one caught my attention by hopping along the path in front of me, keeping enough distance but not in the least interested in leaving the trail. So I followed it slowly for five or ten minutes until it got tired of me tagging along and it hopped off into the brush.

The psalmist’s prayer is a tender plea for the vulnerable, like a bird, like the psalmist herself.  So today I pray for the vulnerable as well:  the refugees, especially the children who are surviving in the muddy fields at the borders to Macedonia, still hoping for places to live safely and work.   I pray for the vulnerable families who have lost their housing, families whom people in our congregation will have met and befriended when they volunteered at the Family Promise shelter this week.  I pray for  people I know who are vulnerable this day because of  health, addiction recovery, grief, need for reconciliation, isolation, care-giving, abuse.  And finally I pray for ourselves and the ways that all of us are vulnerable and in need of God’s present help.


1. Take this verse with you and ponder its meaning for you throughout the day.  What do you notice?  What do you wonder?  For what vulnerable people can you pray throughout the today?  Keep your eyes open to the news, to those you meet, to yourself.

2. Or read all of Psalm 74 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 75:1.

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.