How do we praise God
From Whom all blessings flow
When the flow has slowed to a trickle?

How can the praise of the Lord be always on my lips
If–though my cup overflows–
My lips remain dry and chapped?

Praise Him all ye creatures here
Far, far below in stature and in understanding
Who have no standing to judge the Sovereign will.

And in all things, give thanks–
Even now when thankfulness is far from my mind
And I’m less worried about giving than receiving.

But ye also praise Him above, oh heavenly hosts.
Is it easier for you than it is for me?
Are you privy to His will or does it affect you less?

Should I still make a joyful noise to the Lord
If I don’t have joy in my heart–
If I find it difficult to believe my own words?

Praise the Father, praise the Son, praise the Holy Ghost
Who in perfect, harmonious relationship
Govern all blessings and curses on creation.

Am I not also called to weep with those who weep?
Lord, lead me as I attempt to understand
How it is possible to marry grief with praise.



Michal’s Song

I loved you first.
Time, fate, God, my father
Conspired against us,
But I loved you first.

My father, to his shame, in unkingly despair,
Sent a ruddy youth to become the Giantsbane,
Unaware your name would surpass his own,
Not knowing his heart’s capability for jealousy.

You may have known of my wifely jealousy–
The petty jealousy I had for my own brother,
For the way he held your heart captivated
And the fraternal affection you both shared.

You killed for me and swore you’d die for me,
But I didn’t need that, you won me from the first.
And when my father gave me to you that day,
You took my hand and I felt safe and strong.

In the evenings, you’d sing your hallelujahs,
And I would listen as you plucked the minor fall.
You’d look to me for approval, as if you didn’t know
I was in heaven, and we both laughed meekly.

But harmful spirits endeavored to drive us apart,
So I lowered you from the window, watched you run,
And you’ve been running for your life ever since.
What could I have done? What more, rather?

I saved the life of my one love, and lost him.
I deceived my kin and paid the price for my sin,
Being sent off to another–one who is not you.
I wish I had run, too–followed you to the end.

I don’t know this Abigail, nor Ahinoam.
And it wouldn’t surprise me to hear one day
Another’s moonlit beauty would overthrow you.
But be careful, love–you know how this ends.

And if my song seems cold and broken now,
Know that it is not your fault; I’ve been here before.
Alone and pacing the floor, it is harder today,
But I’ll remember when the songs came every breath.

You will always be loved.
Blessed, anointed, set apart, chosen
By God and by many, many others,
But I loved you first.