Living Psalm 44 Pentecost 24A
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.
My friend calls and I answer because
I know she needs to talk,
not about the killing fields, not about fear that grips her
by the throat and shakes her community until her people
fall on their knees, begging for a miracle. She calls
because she is also a mother, and her baby is sick
again, and her eldest earned a new belt in her judo class..
I’ve answered all her calls
because I’ve seen her posts on Instagram and know
that she is swamped with the unending horror of it all,
but she tells me about a pumpkin cake recipe
that was a huge hit with all her neighbors,
and I make it that same day because
it feels like doing something.
I pick up even when I know I should be working.
She reminds me that we need to plan a trip
together, just the two of us, someplace warm
to celebrate three decades of friendship
I’m noncommittal because
I haven’t slept well and honestly,
I miss her now. I would rather see her and
hold her hand walking through Target.
I let her call go to voicemail just once,
because I’m dropping my sons at school,
and they need me to be focused, to hug
fully present, wish them a wonderful day.
I get back in the car and listen to her say
all the things she hasn’t been able to,
all the news reports she’s watched,
the prayers she’s whispered each night.
She tells the recording about the shaking
in her hands and how it never seems to stop.
I call her back, and she tells me about how
her youngest started walking, and how
the girls sit bent together now, their hands busy
while she cooks dinner. She asks when
I’ll be back east. Of course, our schedules don’t line up,
and I say, call me tomorrow, would you?
After she hangs up, I say another prayer.
I can’t say enough of them these days.
I listen to her voicemail again, and I pray.
Living Psalm for Pentecost 24A – Psalm 44 was written by Maren Christine Tirabassi.
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 2023 Maren Christine Tirabassi. Permission granted to reproduce or adapt this material for use in services of worship or church education. All publishing rights reserved.