Listen to the author read his poem.
To the DJ Jeduthun. A lyricism by Asaph on
In Times of Calamity, I Cry to God
I SCREAM to God, SHOUT into God’s ears! God hears me!
Is God too ancient to hear? Is God in need of a hearing aid?
I’m in a shit spray and I’m desperate for some divine clarity.
All night I pray, count breath, meditate,
to deal with this oppressive stress
but my soul finds no rest.
I read Bible verses on God’s love,
and I moan because they sound so formulaic.
I go to mass;
I’m still a mess.
(Instrumental – beat only)
YOU clasp my eyelids open, I am so gone I don’t know where to begin.
I try to think about the good times, before all my troubles began,
I said to myself, focus on the good shit, stay positive, I declare,
I am strong and loved by God,
standing before the mirror, then repeat it until I believe it.
But the man in the mirror doesn’t believe it.
Then I stopped
with all these roundabouts
and straight up,
Why do you despise me? Why do you frame me?
Where is your famed love?
Where is your love that knows no end?
Has it finally met its end?
Where are your unbreakable promises?
Have they shattered in the precipice of me?
Has your anger finally shut up your mercy?
(Instrumental – beat only)
After shaking my fist at God, I was spent.
Tired I said, no more pity party, no more inward gaze,
self-help, self-improve, self-actualize.
No more listening to gurus and yogi and podcasters.
I went out, drove out of the city, left the tawdry
man-made lights until there was only God-made lights.
I saw the sun blaze then settle down,
I saw the moon climb the night, and invite the stars to their places,
And I realized, God is still creating.
Without the interruption of buildings,
I saw the horizon and remembered how infinite God is.
I will write my own rhymes on what you’re doing in my life,
I will meter out what you are making right,
I will turn into slam-poetry, Your life-flourishing creativity.
I would not be here if not for Your wonders,
from a single-cell amoeba to this lyrical self,
All of this! Stupendous miracle! Only from the metaphor-creator,
word-smither, beat-maker God.
Who is like you?!!!
I saw the waters pull back when they saw You coming,
a tsunami rose, when You stepped on the ocean.
The clouds opened and let out their fury
as if the sky itself was another ocean
such torrent; and thunder,
following the fire of the sun
tearing open the heavens.
And solid earth wobbled like the sea
When You thrust Your hands underneath
and pulled out a mountain range.
Your handprints are everywhere!
In the white hair of Himalayas,
in the blues of blue whales
in the ferocity of wolverines
in the royalty of lions
in the frailty of lambs
in the divine DNA cradled in my cells,
You pulled forth the human species out of the darkness of the earth
And then led them through the darkness of their own making,
And here we are still breathing
SAMUEL SON is co-pastor at New Life Triangle, a new multi-ethnic church/1001 new worshipping community of New Hope Presbytery in Raleigh, North Carolina. He is also a columnist for North State Journal.