Evil one, why are you still here?
I told you to go but you reside in my fear.
You’ve been evicted, kicked out.
Still you’re wicked, and you write hooks
like a heavy weight bout, right hooks.
You write hooks, music to my ears,
telling me all the things I want to hear
but never something I need.
So you open your palm, never a psalm, and say “Feed,”
as if I’m the livestock you prod around,
leaving scars all up and down
the sides of my soul.
Who is really in control?
But that’s the irony, isn’t it?
Although you treat me like livestock,
I am truly dead inside if I leave the flock.
I belong to you no longer, Satan.
O, I am the LORD’s; my paths he will straighten!
a response to Psalm Thirty-two
Not one of us were faithful to you;
no one from the children of man.
We would forfeit our souls for a lie
that we would gladly dress ourselves in.
Yet you remain faithful. LORD, why?
We were not your people,
yet you call out, “My people.”
She who was not beloved,
you call out to my sister, “Beloved.”
And again you pursue,
making us “sons of the living God.”
You, O LORD, will keep us forever! Why?
Your heart is like the furnace refining silver,
and your love, refined seven times seven!
Your mercy, it burns. O but not me. Your Son!
You remain faithful until the very end. LORD, why?
a response to Psalm Twelve
Come with fire and torch, threat and force
This house of mine will not be shaken
even if its foundations are made no more
I’ll stand and sing with brothers and sisters
even in the prison of my enemies
for the LORD is in his house
Come with hate and deceit, death and heat
This house of mine is not found here —
my home is at the right hand of the throne
I may weep at your taunts, O wicked man
but my joy is founded in heaven
for the LORD is always in his house!
a response to Psalm Eleven
You, you made my heart
to beat and long and yearn for you!
And if that’s the case,
then why do I allow the enemy
to lie down in its bedchambers?
If you created me for so much more
why does my heart beat less and less?
O my LORD, I want to yearn for you!
This heart o’ mine
yearns for the divine!
In you I must find good,
for nowhere else can I go, O my soul!
a response to Psalm Ten
When mountains tower over me,
and the valleys, they sink below me,
should I then abandon your path?
If the waters don’t recede for all my days,
if drought and famine are all I know,
should I then leave you in the aftermath?
Or when my enemies, even my own son, surround,
haunt me in my sleep and follow me as I lay awake,
should I then agree with the evils they say?
No, not even in the valley,
not even in the empty galley.
Certainly not when death and danger rally.
But then I ask you,
when the doubts speak too loudly inside,
should I then gather leaf and try to hide?
No, there’s nothing you can do.
Not even when you begin to fall through,
for I am behind you; I will pursue.
But then I remind you,
I am nothing–no, I am worse.
My heart has these holes; that cursed curse!
And I’ll remind you, as maker of memory,
of the holes I took for you on the wood of Calvary.
Now something you are; that is, royalty.
Salvation belongs to the LORD;
your blessing be on your people!
READ PSALM THREE
Our God laughs!
The one who whispers to our wrestling hearts
had to chuckle when Adam’s rib came apart
O, for the joy set before God: three nails and a pierce in his rib
The Potter must have burst into splendid laughter
knowing his Son’s humerus bone would not shatter
The glory of sovereignty during that beautiful eulogy
Our God laughs at the plots of evil, and we should join in
The ones I thought I loved may come up against me
but you have a hand on every king and country
And when David could not triumph our greatest enemy —
O, thank you for telling that truer and better decree
Our God laughs away all our troubles, and we should join him
The one who sits in the heavens made his throne
down on a lonely, holy hill, bringing us home
Hear, through a cry, that first laugh: now a stitch in his side
For wrestling hearts so hardened,
a wonder it was for this rebel to receive pardon!
Now mourning grows quiet; this smile, I can’t hide it
Our God laughs
and he weeps for us
READ PSALM TWO