Psalm 16: A Well of Hope for Today

Psalm 16: A Well of Hope for Today
    by Dan Behrens 

The following passage from the Psalms is tremendous---a well of hope and peace, particularly on days where you and I are not feeling our best. In fact, I'm not feeling my best this week for a number of different reasons on a number of different fronts. Whether this is true of you, I do not know. But what I hope we can agree on here is that the scriptures are alive with divine power to comfort and soothe and even heal. The depth of sentiment in these lines speaks to our hearts with clarity and wisdom. In that sense, we are the objects of clarity and wisdom because God himself is clarity and wisdom. God is light and love and comfort and healing. And even more, He is present with us this very moment. Take a few moments to read and meditate on this passage. Let the spirit of these words wash over you.

Psalm 16
1) Preserve me, O God, for in You I put my trust.
2) O my soul, you have said to the LORD,
     “You are my Lord, My goodness is nothing apart from You.”
3) As for the saints who are on the earth,
     “They are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight.”
4) Their sorrows shall be multiplied who hasten after another god;
     Their drink offerings of blood I will not offer,
          Nor take up their names on my lips.
5) O Lord, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup;
     You maintain my lot.
6) The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;
     Yes, I have a good inheritance.
7) I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel;
     My heart also instructs me in the night seasons.
8) I have set the Lord always before me;
     Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.
9) Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices;
     My flesh also will rest in hope.
10) For You will not leave my soul in Sheol,
     Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
11) You will show me the path of life;
     In Your presence is fullness of joy;
          At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
     
     
Much Love
Pastor Dan

Capernaum

Capernaum
—The disciples went out and got into a boat, but all night they caught nothing. John 21:3
    by Dan Behrens

Seaside village,
Capernaum,
With her growing garrison
Of Herodian troops,

Eclectic Commercialites
And native fishermen,
An agrarian trade post
Along the way of the Sea,

Or the Samaritan’s pilgrimage
Toward Mount Gerizim.
Then there are her streets
And all her Galilean children—

A James, a John, Thomas
And the custom’s chief,
The house of Peter—
and at least one other,

Brothers, turn to her boats
Like their fathers did
At daybreak, and push out
Away from all the shores

That crush them. Their rigging
Pitched portside, their tears
Netting nothing but silence
And a splash of stars

Hardly hanging on overhead.
These few small boats 
Drifting into the arc
Of some forgotten story.

All her forgotten stories
Of feasts and family,
Of sabbath prayers and miracles,
Her screaming crowds,

Her silent sufferer—Jesus.
Capernaum, so light and lost
Among the nations, a lonely lamb
At the edge of the earth,

Or the sea rather, or perhaps
Even those distant hills
Where the swine fell
Just beyond your reach.

Or like when our sweet Saint
Peter fell at the sight of waves,
His one wild step
Into everlasting life,

Cut free—
for one mere moment at least—
From all these boats
We so eagerly turn to.
 

Flight, Kate

Flight, Kate
    by Dan Behrens 

Hallway's a runway,
A glidepath
For my one-year-old’s
Roundtrip
From kitchen to closet.
Little legs, little mind
All wound up
For attention. Revolution—
Down and back
And down again.
Her laugh as loud as liftoff.
So small a world
She and I
A never-ending flight.
On social media @danieljbehrens
On social media @danieljbehrens

Patio Pavers

Patio Pavers
   by Dan Behrens
   
More cinder than stone,
Four dozen patio pavers
Lay behind our tool shed,
Misplaced, abandoned,
Exposed and melting away
Under the long linger of rain—
This heap of garden bricks
That once hedged off roses,
Retained a lofted green bed,
Perhaps encircled a school of Koi
Or encamped evening fires
For a family who lived here.
   
Now unearthed,
I scrape, wash, and stack
These moss-coated slabs
Erect as an Incan altar
Beside our broken gate,
Like something conjured
Out of the womb of earth,
A small tower of fidelity
I’ll later use to reset
The sagging porch,
A near nod to whomever
Kept this yard before me—
Her hands. His dirt. Their Eden.
   
This evening, I’ll cut the grass,
Gathering Lilac clippings,
Toss some fertilizer
And set upon these neglected stones
To help us turn the corner,
To hear again the ancient utterance
Of new birth, the miraculous
Marriage of symmetry and chaos,
Like Babel's tower in her infancy
Before the scattering and the falling apart,
Before our creative language severed,
Our sacred union wedged
To the far reaches of earth.