I wanted to share another contemporary rendering of the Psalms.
The blog “Psalms for a New World” at http://doubterpsalms.blogspot.com/beautifully renders the Psalms in modern language, with imagery reflective our experience today. The author of the blog is using a practice that many might find helpful. They read the Psalms and then turn those words into words that better reflect their experience.
Notice the freshness of their rendering of Psalm 7:
“The monsters in the closet of my heart
have snatched me away—they threaten to devour me.
What did I do to deserve this?
I try to be good.
I honor my friends and family.
I don’t take advantage of the weak or the poor.
I know something about my own wounds and flaws.
Speak from your Judgment seat in the sky and tell me that I’m innocent!
(No, my dear, you know it doesn’t work that way. And you know you are not innocent.)
I am not innocent. Instead of judgment,
I should ask for your love
I try to quiet myself to notice it—you have a
very soft touch.
And the monsters in the closet of my heart
They posture and threaten and fuss.
Do you love them, too?”
For many people this is how they pray the Psalms. They read the Psalms and then turn those ancient phrases into contemporary words out loud in prayer. Others use those words as inspiration for poetry or meditations in a spiritual journal.
This is an ancient practice, going back to some of the earliest Christian writings.
Perhaps this is a challenge you can take up, as can I: to set aside some time the next few weeks to sit with the Psalms, reading their words, and turning them into your own through poetry, painting, sculpting, or spoken prayer.
Please, if you take up this challenge or have taken it up in the past, let me know how it goes and what you learn.
Your progressive redneck preacher,