I wrote this post and the paraphrase more than a decade ago.
It happens all the time in songs (and in stories.)
For the first two verses, everything is bad. And then the hero comes, the story turns, the cavalry arrives, the light dawns. We love to read these stories, to sing these songs, because they give us hope. The first two verses are exactly where we are. Adrift, in pain, needing relief, wanting answers. The last verse is where we want to be, acknowledged, accompanied, heard. And when the writer lived the words, all the better.
The practical among us don’t understand these songs: “Why include the doubting parts? They aren’t true, you know. The hero was watching all along.” But practical people, deep down, need hope too.
That’s why this song from the practical poet David can speak to all of us.
A reflection on Psalm 6.
I know that you may be angry with me.
But if you are, please wait til you cool off before you punish me.
I am already fainting; please have mercy on me.
And the ache goes to my very bones;
I need healing more than I need more pain.
Inside and out, I am falling apart.
Can you please speak to me?
I feel like I’ve been waiting forever.
Change your mind and deliver me from all this.
Remember, dead followers can’t say good things about you.
And they can’t remember you very well either.
I groan and sigh all the time.
I can’t sleep at night,
the sofa is soaked with tears
My eyes are bloodshot
And all I can see is my enemies.
You know what, enemies?
You can just leave now.
God has heard me crying out
I’ve kept him up with my weeping.
And he finally heard.
And he’s coming for you.
You are going to run scared.