I was tasked with composing a Psalm for a recent class. I really wasn’t in to it. Psalms has never been a favorite book of mine. Poetry, in general, bores me. Until I discovered Sappho a year ago, I had zero interest in ancient verse. Ancient poetry does not rhyme, but uses parallelism, a repetition of ideas or words. Once I understand how to read a psalm, I appreciated the craft more.
With this psalm, I wanted to bring feminine pronouns into what is an entirely male genre. I wanted to include the female imagery of God, and to correlate woman as the image of God – as giver of life. God birthed Israel, and births again every Christian. Women have been abused at the hands of men just as Jesus was broken and battered by men. In the early church, martyrdom was the ultimate way to follow in Jesus’ footsteps, and I wanted to pay homage to this traditional view of suffering as an honored act. This is not to excuse or justify any abuse on women, but to recognize the universal and timeless truth that women have suffered, simply for bearing Her image. A woman who trusts in God has the promise of justice and reward.
Favored is she who relies on God.
She trusts without full understanding.
She expects His will to happen.
Confident is she who knows the Lord.
She is not deceived by man nor crowd.
She walks alone.
You have made her productive.
She brings forth life.
O God, who gives birth to nations,
Who births again life anew,
You have shared your likeness with her.
She bears your form.
Let those who would harm her form be shamed.
As her body is broken, let them be destroyed.
As her blood is loosed, take note and serve justice.
She who suffers is not without privilege.
Her faith is not finite.
Her reward is not shared.
Her hope is not awry.
In death, she does not die.