Living Psalm 139
Affirming the co-creative nature and power of womxn, as gift and will of God, including the autonomy to have an abortion.
Living Psalms Book
Psalms in the form of words and art, reborn in the specific contexts of our world, privileging the voices of historically marginalized communities and those acting in solidarity with them.
God of Life, you have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from far away.
But you did not make me a puppet,
do not control my sitting and rising,
You, in your goodness do not desire my thoughts to be captive.
You search out my path and my lying down,
and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
you know it completely.
You find pleasure in who I am,
In you and in me, there is no disgust, shame or condemnation in your creation.
You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
This intimacy and security is hard to grasp.
Where can I go from your spirit?
Or where can I flee from your presence?
When I am living my best life, you are there;
When I struggle to find meaning or care, you are there.
If I take the wings of my wildest imagination
and settle at the farthest limits of what love and humanity can be,
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me fast.
If I say, “I will lie about who I am, even to myself, so you cannot find me”
even my deceit cannot deceive you;
You see through all my masks as truth,
for all I am is truth to you.
For it was you who formed my inward parts;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
With her consent and when she willed my body to be carried in hers.
You were with her too, not using her, but with her.
In her choices you set your wisdom.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
that I know very well.
My frame was nor hidden from you when I was being made in mystery,
intricately woven in the depths of earth and water and mother.
You, God, beheld the possibility of me.
In your book were written
all the days that were possible for me,
when none of them as yet existed.
And in Goodness you chose my mother
To choose when she wanted and was able
To bring a pregnancy to term.
To bring possibility into reality.
To nurture mystery into child by her own body.
The stakes are so high in understanding your wisdom God!
How vast is the sum of knowledge that makes and sustains life!
I try to count it—it is like unending sand on the shore of a vast ocean;
I come to the end—I am still with you.
O that you would liberate womxn and children from the power hungry
and those willing to kill for power
Those willing to kill by claiming the authority of your will
who would subjugate your precious creation and children
And strip away a womxns autonomy and the discernment of life
Both her’s and a child’s
I am made livid by the hypocrisy of those shouting “Pro-Life”
Lawmakers and supporters who in no way demonstrate living relationships
With those their policies impact most
They rise up against love of neighbor, care for the poor and vulnerable, protection of creation and all that gives and sustains life for collective humanity
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my thoughts.
Show me what it is to affirm life and justice in the world,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
Living Psalm 139: Affirming the co-creative nature and power of womxn, as gift and will of God, including the autonomy to have an abortion, was written by Tracy Howe.
Living Psalms Book is created by UCC Witness & Worship Artists’ Group, a Network of UCC connected artists, activists and ministers bridging the worship and liturgy of the local church with witness and action in the community. Maren Tirabassi, editor
Logo is detail from Living Psalm 80 by Sophia Beardemphl, Redwoods, CA. Recovering from significant bullying, Sophia, age nine, read Psalm 80 and thought of brokenness that needs mending. She drew this broken and mended bowl.
© Copyright 2022 Tracy Howe. Permission granted to reproduce or adapt this material for use in services of worship or church education. All publishing rights reserved.