A Response to Psalm 53


Posted on July 26, 2017

It has been really amazing to be involved in the development of the blog project here at Calvary. I want to thank everyone who has contributed to the blog already, and I want to let others know that there will continue to be opportunities to participate.

This Psalm Series has already produced a number of beautiful pieces that were inspiring and encouraging to me as I prepared my own contribution. I hadn’t written poetry in a long time. I would venture to say that it had been nearly two decades. Needless to say it was daunting to think about writing something that feels so vulnerable, and then sharing it with other people. The writing process is vulnerable. It stretches the writer in many directions. It is a struggle within the mind, heart, and spirit that can only be overcome when the writer is able to surrender to the process.

The thing about poetry, and writing in general, is that it never seems to be quite finished. Not really. It is something that with every reading or recitation can be added to, adjusted, moulded a little bit. And that reminds me of our relationships with God. He is continually making changes in our hearts and our character, moulding and shaping us a little bit at a time, until He has finished what he started.

Psalm 53 is brief but heavy. But, after trudging through several verses that could leave us overwhelmed and hopeless, we receive a vision of hope and joy, 

When God restores his people,
    let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad!

                                                 —Psalm 53:6

 

Why do they not believe

The things that I believe in?

 

Convinced

they can

manage,

Murder

for advantage;

 

Certainty;

Self-sufficiency;

Fortune sought

in futility.

 

He holds riches, hope, and favour.

Until their eyes face His,

they will not receive.

 

In the marrow of Faith

they turn away

And devour corruption like bread.

 

They see

with unseeing eyes

the outcome of

their

faithlessness.

 

Why do they not believe

The things that I believe in?

 

The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’

In all their thoughts, there is no room for Him.

 

God searches the earth,

every heart,

To find

one

who understands

 

The depth and the height and the breadth and the width

Of Him.

 

And there I stood overwhelmed with dread,

When there was nothing to dread.

 

He restored my fortune.

 

 

—Claire Black

A Response to Psalm 53

 

Quoted scripture: Psalm 53:1; Psalm 10:4; Psalm 53:5