I read Psalm 123 in my devotions yesterday and I found myself looking for the rest of it when I came to the end of this short song. Here’s the whole thing:
To you I lift up my eyes,
O you who are enthroned in the heavens!
As the eyes of servants
look to the hand of their master,
as the eyes of a maid
to the hand of her mistress,
so our eyes look to the Lord our God,
until he has mercy upon us.
Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us,
for we have had more than enough of contempt.
Our soul has had more than its fill
of the scorn of those who are at ease,
of the contempt of the proud.
After spending as much time as I have with the Psalms over the last several years, this Psalm feels like there should be something at the end. Some kind of praise to God or something to do with “uplifting” or just plain something. It doesn’t wrap up well. To use terms from composers, the Psalm feels unresolved.
But maybe that’s ok. Maybe it is ok for questions to remain unanswered. Maybe its ok for a song to end on a sour note as this one does. I find myself getting more and more into places of unresolved-ness. Questions of why things happen. Questions of belief and doubt. Trying to answer the unanswerable. But also the work that I am called to do as a pastor rarely has times that feel “resolved.” While one sermon is finished, the next is just around the corner. One pastoral situation comes to a close, and another arises. And so forth.
This picture speaks to this for me – This is the peace pole outside the church I serve and when I took this picture and showed it to a friend, she noted that she loved the contrast between the hopeful prayer of “May peace prevail” and the clouds that seem somewhat threatening beyond. She said that it reminds her of the work that we still have to do as disciples. There is the promise of peace but there is conflict still that arises.
Time to get back to work…