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Leveled By Lament

I’d been speeding through my morning with timestamps and deadlines determining my next move. I had to stop long enough to do the work commute with my spouse, which put me in the passenger seat. Perfect, in my estimation, as I needed to review a series of Psalms that fit the content of the class I’d be teaching in a few short hours.

With two Bibles on my lap, I began perusing whilst Gil handled the traffic. After a review in Old Trusty, a king james version that had been gifted to me by my late husband, I opened my newer, now-broken-in Passion translation. I’ve mentioned before how I love the emotive engagement that the Aramaic language brings forward. I was unprepared for what it’s powerful prose was about to heap upon my heart.

Lament is a form of prayer that openly describes deep pain of heart; provides a strong complaint, and implores the Covenant Defender to arise and act on one’s behalf. The majority of the Psalms are written in this way, Psalm 52 among them.

I turned the page to see the inscription top right hand corner. The Fate of Cynics, it read. Immediately I associated this Psalm with a teaching series on the subject that I’d presented at the close of 2021. “This ought to be good.” I thought to myself.

𝕐𝕠𝕦 𝕔𝕒𝕝𝕝 𝕪𝕠𝕦𝕣𝕤𝕖𝕝𝕗 𝕒 𝕞𝕚𝕘𝕙𝕥𝕪 𝕞𝕒𝕟, 𝕒 𝕓𝕚𝕘 𝕤𝕙𝕠𝕥? 𝕎𝕙𝕪 𝕕𝕠 𝕪𝕠𝕦 𝕓𝕠𝕒𝕤𝕥 𝕚𝕟 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕖𝕧𝕚𝕝 𝕪𝕠𝕦 𝕙𝕒𝕧𝕖 𝕕𝕠𝕟𝕖? 𝕐𝕖𝕤 𝔾𝕠𝕕’𝕤 𝕝𝕠𝕪𝕒𝕝 𝕝𝕠𝕧𝕖 𝕨𝕚𝕝𝕝 𝕡𝕣𝕠𝕥𝕖𝕔𝕥 𝕞𝕖 𝕒𝕟𝕕 𝕔𝕒𝕣𝕣𝕪 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕕𝕒𝕪!

𝕃𝕚𝕤𝕥𝕖𝕟, 𝕆 𝕕𝕖𝕔𝕖𝕚𝕧𝕖𝕣, 𝕥𝕣𝕚𝕔𝕜𝕤𝕥𝕖𝕣 𝕠𝕗 𝕠𝕥𝕙𝕖𝕣𝕤 ….

My eyes froze on the words:

𝚃𝚛𝚒𝚌𝚔𝚜𝚝𝚎𝚛 𝚘𝚏 𝚘𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚜 …

[FLASHBACK] Imagery of a visit from family, my late husband’s sons. They’d arrived to the joy and rejoicing of his heart. He was thrilled to have them visit from New England, it was a first. The littles made a big splash of playfulness with this newfound company, while the older girls helped the younger show off, by jumping off the second level roof onto the driveway below.

Crawfish on the back porch; tricycles, bikes, dogs, movement, laughter … and language.

Words, foreign to my ears, yet familiar as I’d been around the New England humor long enough. Words spoken in jest, using facetious, tongue-in-cheek manner dashing in and among the antics of the children: “𝙔𝙤𝙪 𝙩𝙧𝙞𝙘𝙠𝙚𝙧!” our guests would say to one of the children.

Except, it came out with that New England drawl: “ʏᴏᴜ ᴛʀɪᴄᴋ-ᴀʜ!”

ᴛʀɪᴄᴋ-ᴀʜ, ᴛʀɪᴄᴋ-ᴀʜ, ᴛʀɪᴄᴋ-ᴀʜ.[/FLASHBACK]

The phrase rolled across my memory bank and spilled onto my heart, as hot tears welled up in my eyes. Suddenly face-to-face with a moment of time that was no longer, my read of this particular lamenting Psalm was interrupted … or was it? Did I not lament in those days, as cruel taskmasters, in the form of employers, had “doeg’ed” my husband? Doeg had betrayed David of old, and my husband’s employer had betrayed him. Speaking kindly to his face, yet turning and projecting venomous hate upon this “northerner” who had arrived in the Deep South.

The experience was too much for my husband. His tender heart, already bandaged due to a lifetime of real and perceived wounds, stumbled and fell under the hateful words and actio

ns that had been sent forth as assault missiles against his character and personhood. I stepped into the fray, desperate to defend his honor, and the multiple misunderstandings that had occurred.

Perhaps that was why the visit was so joyous - the unconditional love of his sons bringing good news from a now far away land …

and, perhaps, why the playful term they used in jest with the children pierced my heart.

𝐈’𝐝 𝐦𝐞𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐭𝐫𝐢𝐜𝐤-𝐀𝐇. 𝘐’𝘥 𝘮𝘦𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘮𝘰𝘥𝘦𝘳𝘯 𝘥𝘢𝘺 𝘋𝘰𝘦𝘨 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘢𝘴𝘴𝘢𝘶𝘭𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘮𝘺 𝘩𝘶𝘴𝘣𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘥𝘴.

Like David of old, my response was to run to the mercy seat, and pray for God to arise, and

deliver my husband.

He did.

God delivered him.

Just not as I had hoped, nor imagined.


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