How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
Consider and answer me, O Lord my God!
My heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
because you have dealt bountifully with me.
- Psalm 13 (NRSV, excerpts)
My emotions have been all over the place these days. I’m happy one minute, frustrated and short-tempered the next. One minute I can’t see beyond the disappointment, and then I witness the myriad of ways love is showing up and my spirit is lifted. Fear and hope seem to take turns leading the soulful yet erratic dance that is my emotions.
Reading Psalm 13 during this crisis, I am comforted in knowing my conversations with God are not so unique. The psalmist starts with a clear question that comes from the depth of their pain. They call God out! They call B.S. They point out the inconsistencies. They hold nothing back!
Then they catch their breath.
A heartbeat passes, followed by an exasperated shudder of release.
The conversation takes a turn.
The psalmist remembers God’s love. Their trust in God is renewed. They find a new song on their lips. The music of praise and possibility resumes!
God, thank you for your patience when our faith is spinning out of control and our emotions are not in step with what we know to be true – that you will never leave us nor forsake us. Amen.
Rev. Dr. Marilyn Pagán-Banks (she/her/ella) is a queer womanist freedom fighter gratefully (though not always gracefully) serving as executive director of A Just Harvest, Senior Pastor at San Lucas UCC, and adjunct professor at McCormick Theological Seminary. She is a joyful contributor to The Words of Her Mouth.