In Praise of the Other

  in awe of GodWhat is praise?

Is it honor?

Or respect?

Or stop-in-your-tracks awe?

Maybe praise is a fully-present-awareness of Otherness.

Or Beyondness.


Whether or not I can define praise,

I know You are worthy of it, God.

No matter what else may demand my attention,

Your existence demands my praise.


When I am awake to You,

When my eyes are fully open to who You are,

I am blinded by Your radiance,

And my sin makes me want to shrink into the shadows.


But You will not let me go.

You overwhelm the shadows with Your light

And draw me into Your Presence with Your warmth.


How is it that something so other,

So amazing,

So extraordinarily beautiful,

And powerful,

Has heard the prayers of ordinary me?

Selfish me?


How is it that You have not just left the door open for me,

But sent me an invitation,

And flung wide the gates for my arrival?


You are fully Other

Yet fully present to me.


You are the Creator of all

And the origin of Hope,

Which is perhaps the most marvelous design of all.


When I look around this world, I see You.

Your strength is carved into the edges of the mountains,

Your power ebbs and flows in the tides of the seas.

Your wonders are everywhere,

And we cannot help but live in awe

Of this Other,

This beyond-human-power God.


Yet You do not use this transcendence to subdue me.

You use it to help me.


You, O Lord,

Are the God who hears my prayers,

Who cares,

Who answers.

Who provides,

Who loves.


You are beyond my comprehension,

Exceeding of my expectations,

And worthy of my praise.


Sometimes reflections on the Psalms call for wrestling. Or frustration. Or sadness. Today was not that day. Today's Psalm called for praise. This post is my prayer, putting Psalm 65 into my own words. Have you ever read Scripture that way? What was your experience?


Link up your post about Psalm 65 below. Make sure to read the posts of others, too. And come back next week with a post on Psalm 66.