Thursday, 23 March 2017

Psalm (of Helen) : A mission statement

Gentle readers, may I beg your indulgence with this post; I set out to write a psalm, without first making much of a study on how the psalms were written, and I know that there are scholars among you who know and understand things like structure, metre, the little couplety thing that many of the psalms have and so on.  This will clearly fall far short.

My offering below is probably neither a psalm nor a poem, but a kind of outpouring from the heart in the rough style of the psalmists at their most raw and un-poetic. I don't think God is offended by the awkward and unskilled, and this felt important to me. It just wanted to be said.

As a writer who has - and is - struggling to understand what I am called to do, to find a niche, so stop speak, this seems the very bottom line in why I keep opening my laptop and stringing words together even when frequently I feel like giving up for good. I have tried so many different things, nothing seems to fit, and I come back time and again to this one truth: I want to write about Jesus.

I promise I won't often try to do it in verse.

This is what happened when I splurged it all out. I wanted to share it with you.

I was afraid and alone and longing to be found
But I didn't even know I was lost.
I wept and you held out your arms
You came to find me and caught me as I fell
I cried out to you and you took my hand.
You drew me back to yourself.
I reached for you and you held me tightly
You took me in your arms and comforted me
You wiped away my tears.

I lifted up my heart to you for you to make it clean
I emptied out my life and laid it in front of you
Dirty and miserable
Pain and sin and selfishness
Naked I stood before you, full of shame
But you did not turn away.
I had nothing left to hide behind and still you loved me
I was ashamed at the state of my heart
But you washed it clean with your blood
And declared me your beloved child.
You forgave me.

(pause - to blow nose)

You took away my guilt and you gave me unending love
You took away the hurt and replaced it with belonging
My only offerings were fear and bitterness
And yet you blessed me more than I can say.
You said that I could start again.
You healed my wounds and lifted my head
You set me on my feet and steadied me
You played your music and taught me how to dance.

My Lord and my God.
When I wander away, you follow me
Wait at a distance until I am ready to return
You never let me out of your sight.
You carry on loving me.
When all is dark and I can't feel your presence
Still I will trust you, for I know that you are faithful.

I will praise you until I have no breath left in me
Because you are the Lord; there is only you.
You are the Holy One and yet you love me
You are the only God and yet you are my Friend
I am your child and you are my Father.
I am safe and I am loved
I can never repay you for what you have done for me
You have set me free.
I was poor and came to you with nothing
You gave me a beautiful gown and a crown for my head
And called me a royal princess.

You turned the page in the story of my life
And gave me words for a new chapter
You whispered your wonders into my ear 
And I have glimpsed your beauty.
I will speak of your mercy to all who can hear.
I will listen for your voice, for I know it well
I will write down all that you say to me
I will tell of your glory and the wonder of your love.

I will say, 'Here He is, my Saviour and my Friend,'
And people will come and be healed.


  1. Dorothy Courtis23 March 2017 at 09:42

    Oh yes! Especially that last verse. Helen, I was not in a good place this morning, exhausted and dispirited after all that has been happening. Your psalm really spoke me. Your words lifted me. They make a difference. Thank you xx

    1. Oh Dorothy, I'm so glad. Thank you for that precious encouragement. Thinking of you. x

  2. You have the couplety things down just fine Helen (from a biblical rhetorical nerd), and the rawness and longing and truth of a biblical psalm. This is just what the church needs more of. And I can't decide whether I love (pause - to blow nose) more or the uplifting ending. This warrants a book of the Psalms of Helen, which I would certainly buy.

    1. Oh, there's an idea, Lucy! Thank you so much for your lovely words. Really. x

  3. Love it. Very psalmic - is that a word? More, please.

    1. I like it, so let's make it a word. Thanks, Fran. x

  4. Beautiful! Also very moving. Thank You Helen x

    1. Thanks, Deborah. You're more than welcome. :-)

  5. I, too, would love a copy of the Psalms of Helen! This is beautiful - thank you.

    1. Fiona, you are lovely. Thank you. :-)