Written as a part of a Lent 2017 project.
I’m still disagreeing with the Psalms. Whatever the byline says, I picture David (who only wrote half of them) as the author I’m criticizing. This morning he told me God will protect us ‘from the wicked who stalk us with lies.’ (Psalm 12:7).
Instantly I wondered who is the wicked enemy being painted. I’m scared it’s me, living a life where being gay, sexual and Christian is a whole identity to celebrate and not contradict. I’ve heard that voice telling me I broke Britain, this voice a homophobic speaker one church prayer evening. I’ve been stalked by their lies built on a dangerous and deadly theology of exclusion.
Where was God to protect me? How could we use the same name of God and view the different theologies we have as deadly and wicked?
I don’t buy the euphoria of David in these early Psalms (I know some are more vulnerable, despairing. I haven’t got to them yet). It reads of a blind faith and divine intervention I gave up because it’s too close to the evangelical conservative worship that doesn’t welcome everyone, and therefore doesn’t welcome at all.
There’s a more nuanced, more modern Psalmist. Horatio Spafford’s four daughters died in a shipwreck in 1873. The telegram from his wife simply read ‘saved alone’. Soon afterwards, he wrote It Is Well with my Soul. Despite what happened, God somehow eased his soul. And his hymn has been comforter to millions against tragedy and wickedness.
I can question where God is to end the wariness and resentment in my life. And I can be the voice of faith, echoing godliness as Spafford was to other people’s lives. What other voice will challenge true wickedness, lies and exclusion?
How do you pray when it’s no longer your day job? After three and a half years working at Tearfund and Christian Aid, Joey is starting a new job at LGBT Organisation Stonewall. Joey blogs and tweets (@joeyknock) about faith, LGBTQ culture, masculinity, Disney, and Lorraine Kelly. Seaside walks in Southend make him happy.