© 2019 Bethany Lee

    • Bethany Lee

    The angry psalms are making a lot of sense right now

    I don't get angry very often. I'm usually just willing to go straight to scared or sad, which are so often the source of our angry feelings. And also, I'm just wired more for water than for fire.

    (If you are a friend who leans toward fiery, please know that I need this energy in my life. We need each other.)

    But a couple of weeks ago, I just got pissed and wrote this in a fury. And in the days since, I've watched those in power live this out, trying, even in a communal disaster, to preserve their own wealth and might. 

    Today, I'm afraid. Afraid of the news of people dying alone. Afraid of scarce resources and societal change. Afraid of the tickle at the back of my own throat.And I'm afraid that I will use my own power to hoard instead of share. If today, you're afraid or angry or both like I am, this is for us.

    The angry psalms are making a lot of sense right now

    And then your storehouses burned down in the night

    and you didn’t die but came begging

    from the ones you’d robbed to fill them

    And they fed you, we fed you because

    that’s. what. we. do. but you looked

    when we brought out our food

    from where we kept it

    and in the night you came back and took it

    Took the flour we meant for our children

    and the oil that ran out no matter

    how we prayed

    and we couldn’t stop you because

    you’d taken the strong ones away

    to work in your fields which had been ours

    until you took them too and left

    the sick behind broken

    with no way to walk after

    You divided our land

    and let your warriors separate us

    and some of us didn’t notice until it was too late

    but some of us have been keening all along

    And I know we’re all meant to be in this together

    but you chose not to be one of us

    you thought your hoard could keep you safe

    but we are not safe unless we are safe together

    and we will not be safe together until

    we are willing to be in pain together

    and I want to look you in the eyes and say

    Does it really feel safe to be this alone?

    So now here we are

    with wheat for one last loaf of bread

    and no one here to multiply it for us

    and you are saying, “By law that loaf is mine”

    even though we all know

    you are the one who made the law

    that claims this provision

    you with the greedy hands and empty eyes

    you who gather a double portion

    just to keep it away from us

    And I don’t know how this story ends

    It might end with your transformation

    or with many needless deaths

    and a cloud of grief over all we love

    but the ending that scares me most

    is the one where I am so afraid

    I snatch the meal from you

    lay it down in the soil where it grew freely

    and turn our bread to bricks

    for the wall of my own storehouse

    ~Bethany Lee ©2020