Lockdown Psalm (Shorter)

I lift up my eyes from this lockdown….

(Text to borrow, below)

Read this with Rev Katie Watson on BBC Radio 4 this morning, (Sunday May 31). A slightly longer earlier version is here.

And here’s the text if anyone wants to borrow it.

I Lift Up My Eyes (Shorter Lockdown Psalm)

I lift up my eyes from this lockdown
Outside, I cover my face
My friends become danger
I become threat, I step aside,

Hold my breath as you pass

Inside, these walls close in,
This safety and this cage
Inside, we’re too close
And, a little distant,
Inside, I’m alone, I’m scared

I lift up my eyes from this lockdown
I thought plagues were the tantrums
Of a petulant god, we no longer believe in
So why can’t I see my parents,
Hold my grandchildren,
Except on this screen,
That frees me as it captures me

I lift up my eyes,
They are wet from my tears
My days slip through these dried out fingers
From where will my help come

To carry me, or hold me,
Or just look toward me
With Faith, Hope and Love ?
Is that too much to ask?
Is that a prayer?

My help comes in a window box
The shy defiance of a daffodil
On the street, the mauve wisteria, showing off
The discreet conversation of the trees
The dance of every season,

The dawn, the dusk
How they carry us

My help comes inside PPE,
From those who care and those who heal,
And a friend who calls, across the way,
Can you believe this? How’s your day?

My help comes from those who sit and listen
When I no longer make sense
Who wash me clean, and break a broken blessing over me
Who walk beside us when we die,
They neither slumber nor sleep
How they carry us

My help comes with those who love me
I hold them tenderly, in all this silence,
The being held, the holding, this sad joy
That cradles all the sorrow, all the loss
All this love in all this life
How this carries us

I hold them all, They hold me
Wherever I go, they go with me
At my going out and my coming in,
Even when I cannot catch another breath
Still, they breathe my life,

That I may breathe easy again

I lift up my eyes and see
That Love will keep our lives,
From this time forth, for evermore.

This is now published in a new collection, ‘Voices Out of Lockdown’, from Wild Goose Publications.

‘Trying to get to heaven before they close the door.’