Living Psalm 8–Pentecost 19B

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.

Living Psalm 8—Pentecost 19B

The wind shivers through the aspen
leaves, and I fall in love with the world.
The sun is hazy from smoke, wildfires
a thousand miles from here that turn the sun
pink and brown at noon. The light on the leaves,
though, is perfect. I am in love.

Between me and this tree there is a rotting fence,
a parking lot, and the DMV. A dumpster is emptied,
although not often enough on these blazing
summer days. A butterfly darts by, then a wasp.
The air doesn’t stink but it hurts my lungs.
I can’t go in yet because the tree is dancing.

When the breeze stills, I am alone again,
hungry for the gentle beauty of sun and wind
and tree. I ache for that magnificent light on green.

The crab apple beside me has caught
the wind, and its leaves flap roughly at me.
It seems like a clumsy shuffle compared
to the grace of the aspen, but after a few minutes,
I sense its melody. It’s a new beat, a different catch
in my heart. I am in love with the world again.

Living Psalm 8 for Pentecost 19B was written by Maria Mankin.

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.

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 2021 Maria Mankin. Permission granted to reproduce or adapt this material for use in services of worship or church education. All publishing rights reserved.

Living Psalm 8–Pentecost 19B