Your hand on me

November 17, 2012 — 13 Comments

My father passed away peacefully last week at the age of 90. He never regained consciousness after a massive stroke, but I was so thankful I could be with him and the rest of my family as he made his journey home. During the five days, I sometimes read scripture to him. Along with the standard comforting passages, I found Psalm 139 particularly reassuring. Here is part one of a paraphrase I wrote a few years ago:

“Oh God, with You I’m not lost in a faceless crowd.
You’ve picked me out and studied me through and through.
So You know when I am down and when I am filled with joy.
Even when I don’t feel close to You, You understand what I am thinking.
Physical distance is no limitation to Your understanding of me,
because You are Lord of time and space–
and neither is spiritual distance–
You see everything.

You pay very close attention to the way I live my life,
when I stop, when I try to hide.
You know all my tricks, all my shortcuts and detours.
Even before I speak what I’m thinking,
You know what I’m going to say;
You know my heart completely.
And when I am silent, You still hear me.
You have surrounded me, the past that is behind me
and the future that lies ahead of me.
You have put Your hand on me, You have touched me.
The reality of this is so hard to grasp, so hard to feel.
Even though I experience it,
I’ll never be able to fully understand it.
This is how You care for me.

I will never be able to get away from You.
Even if I close my eyes and heart and ears to You
and become spiritually blind and deaf,
You will still hear me.
If I come close to You and join others worshiping You,
of course You will meet me there.
But also if I go far away from Your place of worship,
if I flee from the very thought of You,
if I ignore You and pretend You do not exist,
even then You will guide me,
You will hold my life in Your hand
because You created me and I am Yours.
Whether I like it or not, I am not my own.
No matter how badly I mess up my life,
You are still going to be there
because no darkness is too deep for You.
You trump any gloom, any pain, any disaster.”

[paraphrase from the archives]

13 responses to Your hand on me

  1. 

    Annie, I’m sorry to hear of your loss. Saying a prayer for you that God will indeed overwhelm you at this difficult time with His love and reminders of His presence.

  2. 

    I too am sorry to hear about your loss. I just finished reading your book today and am remembering the part when Peter and Celeste observed one traveler enter the gates to the city and kiss his partner goodbye. “Well done, good and faithful Servant.” Whew. A tearful moment for sure. May the Lord continue to remind you of His presence.

  3. 

    So very sorry for your loss.

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful paraphrase of Ps. 139. I’ll be pondering these words today: “You are Lord of time and space–and neither is spiritual distance–You see everything.”

  4. 

    My prayers are with you Annie.

    I have never thought of paraphrasing the Scripture like that before. It makes it much more personal. Beautifully penned words!

  5. 
    Nancy Lukas-Slaoui November 21, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    My sincerest condolences for the loss of your dear father, Annie. Thank you for all your inspiring words, even in the face of grief, you send out God’s words and encouragement to us. God bless you.

  6. 

    I love that paraphrase!

  7. 

    Annie, I’m also so sorry about your father, but I love the way you’ve been able to write about his death and the joy of his life here, on these pages.

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