Monday, April 9, 2018

Spoken, Yet Unspeakable



My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?
O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer; and by night, but find no rest.
Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.
In you our ancestors trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them.
To you they cried, and were saved; in you they trusted, and were not put to shame.
—Psalm 22:1-5

Most people are familiar with the 22nd Psalm only because Jesus prayed it—or at least its opening words—from the cross. I have always felt that the gospels recorded the first line, but that Jesus prayed the complete psalm, either aloud or silently. The two opening verses are a cry of pain—spoken, yet unspeakable. But this bitterest of psalms moves rather quickly from agony to trust.

What can this psalm—the one that Jesus prayed during the crucifixion—teach me about God's presence in my pain?

When I feel abandoned, O God, may your Spirit lead me to complain to you. But may you not stop there, but remind me of what you have done in the past, and what you can do now and in the future; in the Name of the One who felt forsaken on the cross. Amen.

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