All my longings lie open before you, Lord;
my sighing is not hidden from you.
My heart pounds, my strength fails me;
even the light has gone from my eyes.
For I am about to fall,
and my pain is ever with me.
I confess my iniquity;
I am troubled by my sin.
Many have become my enemies without cause;
those who hate me without reason are numerous.
Those who repay my good with evil
lodge accusations against me,
though I seek only to do what is good.
Lord, do not forsake me;
do not be far from me, my God.
Come quickly to help me,
my Lord and my Savior.
from Psalm 38
The darksome burn, horseback brown,
His rollrock highroad roaring down,
In coop and in comb the fleece of his foam
Flutes and low to the lake falls home.
- A windpuff-bonnet of fawn-froth
- Turns and twindles over the broth
- Of a pool so pitchblack, fell-frowning,
- It rounds and rounds Despair to drowning.
- Degged with dew, dappled with dew,
- Are the groins of the braes that the brook treads through,
- Wiry heathpacks, flitches of fern,
- And the beadbonny ash that sits over the burn.
- What would the world be, once bereft
- Of wet and wildness? Let them be left,
- O let them be left, wildness and wet;
- Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.
~Gerard Manley Hopkins “Inversnaid”
- There is despair in the wilderness of untamed hearts.
Such wildness lies just beneath the surface;
it rounds and rounds, almost out of reach.
- How are we spared drowning in its pitchblack pool?
How can we thrill to the beauty rather than be sucked into the darkness?
- He came not to destroy the world’s wildness,
but to pull us, gasping,
from its unforgiving clutches as we sink in ever deeper.
As weeds surviving in the wilderness,
we must grow, flourish, and witness to a wild world bereft.
- O let us be left.
Let us be left.
During this Lenten season, I will be drawing inspiration from the new devotional collection edited by Sarah Arthur —Between Midnight and Dawn