Attending a writing course just after my husband had recovered from cancer, I was asked to rewrite a psalm. During his illness, psalm 18 had become my creed.
Psalm 18 Verses 1-19
I love you, O Lord, my strength.
Where would I be without you, Lord?
You’re the ground I stand on —
and more than that.
You build walls around me of pure granite,
walls to shelter and protect
and, as if that was not enough,
you place yourself between me and the world,
forestalling my enemies and safeguarding my path.
I remember a time, Lord,
when I cried out to you
and you rescued me.
It was a time when everything I hold dear was under threat,
when my enemy towered, leering, over me,
when malignancy, and death itself,
came creeping on its slimy belly
and wormed its way in,
gloating, hinting, tormenting.
What could I do but call out to you?
In the realms of heaven,
amongst the honeyed choruses of angels,
you somehow heard my puny cry.
It had no poetic beauty to move you;
others would have laughed at its lack of fluency.
But you moved heaven and earth to come to my aid.
I can see you now, the original braveheart,
leaping to your feet, arms raised, fists clenched,
your face gripped with righteous anger,
sweat and tears mingling as you storm,
roaring, from your throne room
and stride through eternity.
The forces of nature have seen this before
and cower, trembling, before your approach
but my enemy, oh foolish one, is too intent
on his own schemes to give heed to the signs.
And is caught unawares when you stamp on him.
You could have left it there, warrior king,
but no, with anger spent, there was another job for you.
You lifted me gently in your hand,
closed your fingers around me
and whispered oh such words,
words of reassurance and peace,
words without sound
which told of your joy in me.
Then you took me to a meadow which stretched
as far as I could see, a lush green pasture, and you told me
I was free.