Thursday, May 28, 2009

Black Psalm

When sorrow falls on your plate
with the clatter of dropped coins,
how do you ask a blessing on that meal?
How do you consume it,
how does it nourish and delight?
What do I taste and see –
sand and entrails.
Your will is like fog,
the shroud of accidents.
God, I do not trust you.
You give with one hand
and take with the other
and call it fallen creation.
You ask for blood
and speak love.
Your justice is ugly and unrighteous,
a knife at the neck of a small child
to test our loyalty.
Then you beam like the sun –
See, it’s all okay now –
it’s all mercy now.
See how I love you?
The enemy armies have been laid waste
and left to rot in the fields.
Now you can build your house on rock.


  1. Alice, the God I try to follow doesn't cause teh crap...He doesn't punish...God weeps &~ bleeds &~ hurts & laments with us and in us. The pain & anger & ugliness of the world is not of God's causing but deep within the places of the greatest misery, furthest from the light, God works to bring about healing & restoration.
    This is the God that loves mercy not sacrifice, the God that died to show us how much God loves us...
    The God you are strugglign with seems to me to be very much a human construct, born of the distortions and cruelty that we carry within us, but do not want to own.
    Do you know the hymn
    "Morning glory, starlit sky"? It presents a less appalling alternative, based on the God we see in Jesus, not the God who terrorised the Old Testament. See what you think.
    You'll find it here

  2. Wow. This makes me cry.

    What Kathryn said.

    And, I came over here to say, I will SO come see you while in Atlanta! My program runs July 20-22, all day the first 2 days and 8-12 the Wednesday. So Sunday maybe? I have an early dinner with my team, but before that?

  3. Kathryn: thank you for the link. I grasp with my mind, but my heart is still baffled.

    Mary Beth: Oh cool! Sunday should be fine. I assume you'll be in downtown Atlanta somewhere? You can email me at

    David: Thanks for stopping by. I enjoy your blog Unorthodoxology. So much of what you write resonates with me.

  4. That was so true, Bad Alice. I'm glad I heard it through you, though, and not someone else.

  5. Wait... I'm sorry. You wrote that yourself, didn't you? Now I feel bad. Sorry.

  6. I still stand next to my first comment, though. I'm glad it was you who wrote it and not someone else.