Sunday, January 24, 2010

In Memory

Recently I was privileged to be with Country Parson when he offered Psalm 18:1-19 to a bereaved family. Having just lost a family member who had lived a lifelong struggle with addiction, homelessness, and lastly kidney failure, I saw the family take comfort from these words - this is in memory of David.

4-5 The hangman's noose was tight at my throat;
devil waters rushed over me.
Hell's ropes cinched me tight;
death traps barred every exit.

6 A hostile world! I call to God,
I cry to God to help me.
From his palace he hears my call;
my cry brings me right into his presence—
a private audience!

16-19 But me he caught—reached all the way
from sky to sea; he pulled me out
Of that ocean of hate, that enemy chaos,
the void in which I was drowning.
They hit me when I was down,
but God stuck by me.
He stood me up on a wide-open field;
I stood there saved—surprised to be loved!

Bible Verses from Eugene Peterson's "The Message"

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  1. That last line is so moving.

  2. my little painting that you commented on reminds me of your photo here!! nice post here.

  3. Maureen, I agree with you on that line. I've thought about Psalm 18 all week in terms of my friend's death. It came to me when I was posting that THE MESSAGE might come in just the right words for my friend's situation. I was not disappointed to find Peterson's words so powerful!

  4. Neva,
    Welcome and yes, I agree that the horizon similarity is noticeable to your little painting. Your little painting captured the feeling of something mystic at work in the water/sky/horizon. Lovely.

  5. Anonymous6:00 PM

    I don't know if this is the same family I know of, but how beautiful these words would be/are for them...Our trials indeed are universal. Who wrote this? JG

  6. Anonymous6:03 PM

    Oh, I get it! These ARE the words to the Psalm in Peterson's words - how different they sound and how welcome they are. JG

  7. JG - yes they are Petersen's translation - so modern and apropos to David's life. This is dedicated to David Cromwell, Estelle's brother. It seemed to be of comfort to her and it certainly has been food for thought for me this week. xoxo

  8. I think CP made a very appropriate choice here. These words could be especially comforting to the family who lost a loved one in circumstances such as this. Thank you for sharing them with us.