This morning, I came to the longest Psalm in the book – Psalm 119. It is a beautiful song and well worth a full read through. But what first really spoke to me was the poem for today, written by Julia Seymour. Her poem, “I Will Watch for You” was focused on verse 123 which says:
My eyes fail from watching for your salvation, and for the fulfillment of your righteous promise.Psalm 119:123
As I read her poem, I thought of John Lewis, who passed away this morning. I share her poem here today in gratitude for John Lewis’ life, his example, his boldness, his courage, his faith, his power, his legacy, and what he leaves for us all to continue the work. I also share a picture of the Pettis Bridge that my daughter took in 2016.
I Will Watch for You, by Julia Seymour
I watch for a bend toward justice.
I remember the names:
Sandra, Eric, Trayvon, Philando, Tamir.
I shut my heart against lies.
I put my shoulder into working for the truth.
I weep over dead grade-school students, tiny hands and feet playing no more.
I hate the idols that surround me,
symbols of systems claiming power that is not theirs. I wait for you. I wait for your intervention. I watch.
My eyes burn with alertness.
They are dry, and the oil of sweat stings the corners.
Still, I watch. I work and I watch.
Where are you?
I believe you keep your promises and yet,
where are you?
I have pored over your written word. I have listened for your voice.
Where are you?
How long will this go on?
My eyes grow heavy with the watching. They want to sleep.
They want to rest.
But if you are going to move, I don’t want to miss it.
I reflect on the truths I know, the ways that bring freedom;
I search to discern what I have missed.
My prayers flicker between word and deed;
my soul is restless
not to be ignored.
I fight, I fight, I fight, and I will not complain,
because it is a privilege to wrestle for the truth.
Did I forget a commandment? Have I failed in some way?
I watch for you, but you do not seem to come.– Julia Seymour, The Words of Her Mouth . Pilgrim Press. Kindle Edition.
My eyes are so tired.
Are you going to keep your promises?
Will there be justice?
Will healing come?
Is there enough balm in Gilead to soothe these sin-sick souls?
Maybe it is time for me to have my eyes checked,
to account for my astigmatism;
But let me keep my eyes open, my body working, my song steady.
I will watch for you. —