Psalm 10 – One Set

The final line of the poem, “Footprints” says:

The Lord replied…“The times when you have seen only one set of footprints in the sand is when I carried you.”

But what happens when one looks back and sees not someone else’s (Jesus’) footprints but instead one’s own?  What happens when they don’t experience the promise in this poem that God carried them through the difficult time?

It is in those times that we lament.  Psalm 10 is one such lament.  

The Psalm starts out with the accusing prayerful words…

Why, O LORD, do you stand far off?
Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?

Psalm 10:1

This week, I have found myself joining in lament with two dear friends who are going through brutal circumstances – one fighting a health battle and the other dealing with a very serious situation with a child.  In both, there are no words that make it better but instead I feel that my place is to be with them in their lament and in their pain.  I can’t make the situations go away but I am lifting up words like these in Psalm 10 and sung so beautifully by PBH.  

why oh lord do you stand far off
why oh lord do you hide
why oh lord in the troubled times
why oh lord do you hide

Psalm 10 – Poor Bishop Hooper

I also was reading Brené Brown’s new book, Atlas of the Heart, and one of the sections dealing with the feelings that stir when things don’t go as we hope spoke of anguish and she shares these words from Ranata Suzuki that are definitely words of lament.  

Anguish…It’s one of those words you understand the meaning of just by the way that it sounds. It has this gnarling rasp to it as you twist your mouth around to say it…kind of like what feeling it does to your insides. It’s an awful, drawn out, knotted up word. It’s also one of the things I feel without you. 

Brown, Brené. Atlas of the Heart (p. 90). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

But the Psalm doesn’t leave it there.  It ends with a statement that feels more like a mantra – one of those things that we say over and over until it comes to pass… Here is PBH’s lyrics for the end of the Psalm…

surely you will hear our cries
surely you will hear our cries
surely you will hear our cries
and you will strengthen our hearts, strengthen our hearts

Psalm 10:17 – Poor Bishop Hooper

So, for everyone who looks back and sees only one set of footprints and doesn’t feel that God is carrying you but instead feels very far off…I join you in your lament and your prayer.  

Categories: PsalmsTags: , , , , ,


  1. Yes, yes, and yes. Love the writing, the photo, and the song. Thank you!

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