When our Lovely Curate came round last night, she used a reading from Psalm 46 which really helped. Today brought me the news that a cherished friend in Gaza was among those killed in the bomibing on the UN school. She had her one year old with her – they were found cuddled up together. And so, with an aching heart and an empty womb, I wrote this in response. It’s based on Psalm 139, which is my favourite passage in the Bible. It’s helped to have the Psalms as a framework for the words I find hard to pray.
Oh Lord, you have searched me and you know me,
Did you know my body was going to do that?
You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar
I don’t understand my own thoughts right now Lord. My heart is too full to bear, and my womb too empty to bear. Do you. can you, possibly understand?
You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
was it my fualt? Could I have stopped it?
Before a word is on my tongue, you know it completely, Oh Lord.
You hem me in – behind and before
Mina loved you
You have laid your hand upon me
Was your hand on her? Her little one? Were your hands on them as the rockets fired and thier refuge collapsed?
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
I don’t understand this. Any of it.
Where can I go from your spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
You promised never to leave me or forsake me.
If I go up to the heavens you are there,
If I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
Are you really there, Lord?
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
If I settle on the far side of the sea
Even there your hand will guide me
Your right hand will hold me fast.
Hold my hand Lord. I feel so lost.
If I say, “surely the darkness will hide me, and the light become night around me”
Even the darkness will not be dark to you.
For darkness is as light to you.
You bring light into the darkest of situations. But it’s so hard to see it…
For you created my inmost being – you knit me together in my mothers womb
I never got to hold my baby. Mina held hers, right to the end – a scared, horryfying death. You know them both.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made – I know that full well.
I don’t know that at all. I feel fearfully and wonderfully broken. Help me to see myself as you see me.
My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place – when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unvfomed body.
All the days ordained for me were written in your book, before one of them came to pass.
Two babys. Two terribly short books.
How precious to me are your thoughts, Oh God!
I don’t understand.
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand.
I may never understand
When I awake, I am still with you.
And you are with me. My rock and my redeemer. Thank you.