If you need the perfect words for your feelings, which often turn everything upside down, reach for the Psalms. Here you find the full range of feelings expressed, feelings like sorrow, frustration, guilt, exhaustion, rejection or feelings like joy, gratitude, peace, love. The Psalms have words for all your feelings, poetic words, strong words, true words, words you could possibly never come up with. Words for you and words by you, not just about you. What, you might think? Don't you know that a psalm is a prayer, originally really a song? That they have been written centuries ago, long before you were born? That they have been used by Jews and hermits and early Christians and Christians of all denominations for more than two thousand years? That they form the liturgy of the hours, being recited and prayed every week in many cloisters and convents still today? That already Martin Luther called the Psalms "the small Bible" - meaning that the Psalms are like a mini-version of the entire Biblical message?
Yes, the words are around for centuries. But the moment you open up to them and let them give words to your feelings, they are written by you. A colleague once told me: If ancient music means something today, it is not ancient anymore. Even more so the Psalms, tackling every challenge we might encounter, finding answers to every problem under the sun. The Psalms are not distant words behind glas. They speak to you, but even more so: You speak them, you feel them, you can write them into your own book of life. Like this: " I will be glad and full of joy in Your loving-kindness. For You have seen my suffering. You have known the troubles of my soul. You have not given me into the hand of those who hate me. You have set my feet in a large place." (from Psalm 31, NLV).
The Psalms meet the heart’s deepest longing to hear the creator, to commune with Love, God. It has made a huge difference when I started to discover the Bible as my book, especially the Psalms and the New Testament. Letting the Psalms get so close that the words could have been written by me, arouses them. They sure get under my skin. All the chords of our life are to be found in the psalms - and we draw out the deepest notes of our heart. Here our feelings find the right words, I find. The Psalms have never let me down.
Through the centuries the Psalms have been put to wonderful music and to exquisite art. Christian Scientists have put the Psalms to practice for more than 150 years. Continuing to write humanity's story with the Psalms, the Christian Science Sentinel has been inviting its readers to share the healing solace and spiritual strength that the Psalms are bringing to humanity. Here is my contribution to the Comfort from the Psalms section - in written form and as a podcast. Like in the illumination below in which you can see "anima" cupping her cheek in her hand, so sorrowful and sad - help is at hand. The Psalmist is listening and starting to play - and the healing message is under way.
Who is writing?
In my work as Christian Science practitioner and as a writer I draw on listening to God and listening to people.
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