Thursday, 24 May 2012

Poetry. Words. Psalms.

Poetry.  Many people find poetry boring, uninspiring and just simply a waste of time. I can completely understand this; a few years ago I had the same opinion.  I have no idea what changed my mind, but I suddenly began to understand it, I saw beauty and depth and meaning in the words of poems. I now admire poets.  They have this incredible way of putting words onto a page; words that get your imagination blazing within the first line.  At first the words can just seem a jumble, but when you look deeper they begin to form images and ideas and stories, like nothing else.  The emotion in a poem is extraordinary.  But what do I find the most amazing thing about poems to be? The way they can be interpreted in so many different ways, for one, a poem can be about love and life but, for another the same poem can be a vicious story of hatred and pain.

Poetry is not a new thing, its very old, and some of the most incredible poems I have ever seen come from the Bible.  I do not know the official definition of a poem, but personally I don't think they should be defined.  Perhaps the words, I consider to be beautiful poems, in the Bible, aren't actually poems, but they too have an amazing way of helping me to visualise the images within the words.  One Psalm that I love is the 23rd Psalm:

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 
He makes me lie down in green pastures.  
He leads me beside still waters.  
He restores my soul.  
He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.  
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,  
I will fear no evil, 
for you are with me;  
your rod and your staff,  
they comfort me.  
You prepare a table before me  
in the presence of my enemies; 
you anoint my head with oil; 
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me 
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord 

I think it is important, when reading something to make it personal for you, to understand its meaning and its truth.

My Interpretation:
God is all I need there is nothing in all the world that could complete me, as He does.
He ensures I rest, so that I am ready for everything I face.
He takes me to places of safety, because He cares about me.
My soul was broken, and now it is whole, I was lost and He found me.
He leads me on routes that are good, and holy, that are just and pure, that are righteous, for Him.
There is much pain, suffering and death in my life, and I often feel hurt by these things but,
There is nothing for me to fear, be scared of, or feel hurt by,
When I trust in God because He is always there, and He will never leave me;
His everything, in all His being, 
Comforts, looks after, and treasures me.
He looks after me in every way
Even in the face of adversity;
He anoints me with all His blessings and gifts;
I am overflowing with Him and His love.
All things good, and merciful, shall be with me
every day of my life,
And I will live in Him and Him in me
For always.

The Psalms are a compilation of many incredible writings, that are like poems, many written by David.  David is a person from the Bible, known for defeating Goliath.  However, I love him, because of his incredible way with words, and his good characteristics, like his patience and his true love for God.  David was not a perfect man, he made many mistakes, but he did a lot of good and remarkable things too, including writing the Psalms.

Don't just dismiss poems and words, as a jumbled mess.  Look behind the words, read between the lines, and find the deeper message.  

Don't think that just because words were written thousands of years ago, they no longer apply to you, and no longer have any relevance.  Words live a long time, and words about God, written  in the Bible are as true now, as they were thousands of years ago.

                                                You Never Let Go, by Matt Redman