Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes...

Pennsylvania Hills

THIS LOVELY PSALM 121 is called a Psalm of Ascent as it was sung by pilgrims walking UP to Jerusalem. This particular pilgrim-psalm also features a literary device called step in which a line containing a word or phrase is then picked up and employed in the following line Maybe it was helpful to pilgrims who plodded on, step by step, to the Holy City. And might not this pilgrim-walk be symbolic of the ultimate pilgrimage to the Heavenly Jerusalem?

Psalm 121 ~  Leave oculus

1 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills,
from whence cometh my help.
2 My help cometh even from the Lord:
who hath made heaven and earth.
3 He will not suffer thy foot to be moved;
and he that keepeth thee will not sleep.
4 Behold he that keepeth Israel:
shall neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord himself is thy keeper:
the Lord is thy defense upon they right hand;
6 So that the sun shall not smite thee by day:
neither the moon by night.
7 The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil:
yea, it is even he that shall keep thy soul.
8 The Lord shall preserve thy going out, and thy coming in:
from this time forth for evermore.

1 I'll lift up my eyes along the pilgrim way.
Have I been looking down ~
all turned in on myself?

A desert walk is difficult ~
apt metaphor
for our own life-walking days
on this planet:
full of inconvenience,
advances and set backs.

But the psalm-pilgrim knows
the better way:
I'll lift up my eyes.
Only then will I see
the great temple on the holy hill,
its roof of beaten gold
resembling the sun itself,
my eyes unable to hold it.

Lift up my eyes from worries,
from complaint,
from self-depreciation.

2 My help comes from the Lord who
created everything
reduced to the
exhausted office plant at work
that no one has fed, watered or dusted
for a very long time.
Not even a window's light.
Refresh it!

And each human person is part
of that heaven and earth.
God knows the number of the stars,
and the hyacinth bulb buried beneath the snow,
and when the Chickadee fledgling dies
this winter.
God knows I'm on my pilgrimage.
I'm God's keepsake.

3 Pilgrims trip along the way.
Blistered toes,
pulled ligaments,
suffering aches and pains,
caring for feet matters most to a pilgrim.
Bad feet can ruin the pilgrimage.
But ultimately the dread is
not about feet but of my personal un-doing.
God won't allow my final ruin.

4 Behold (Look!)
God isn't sleeping,
nodding off
like the ancient gods ~
or the commercial,
ideological or
militarized gods of
the world today.

5 God is the agent of my preservation
and protection.
God is at my right hand,
the hand I need for
the sword-carrying battle.
God beside me in the battle to stay true.

6 To be protected from the scorching
rays of the sun.
God, like the mother bird in the desert,
her wings an umbrella over the nestlings.
How many people tell the story of
wondrous turns of events that saved them
from the worst?

7 Preserved from all evil ~
we pray it all the time.
Evil is personal:
something that doesn't want me
in relationships,

God keeps my soul:
my inner person ~

8 My going out and coming in -
in all the circumstances of my life:
my dreams and joys,
my hopes, plans and projects
in my sleeplessness
in the downside,
even to the other side of my dying.

Amen! Alleluia!

1 comment:

  1. The gift of these words is precious to me. I feel such a deep sense of spiritual prayer each time I read a new prayer or reflection. It's as if that veil between me and God is thinning. I feel closer to Him when I pray now more than ever.