Author: Brittany Fiscus-van Rossum
Reflection: v. 1, ‘Yahweh, you’re my light and my salvation’
A few years and what feels like a lifetime ago, my coworker, Pastor Chad, wrote a community worship song based on this psalm. As music so often has the power to do, it comforted me in some unspeakable way. I loved how the lyrics, pulled straight from the words of the psalm, asked the simple question, ‘Whom shall I fear?’ and then transitioned to another bold declaration, ‘I can see the goodness of the Lord.’ Perhaps unsurprisingly, I have found this song most comforting when I have struggled to believe its words—when there is much to be fearful of and the goodness of the Lord seems scarce. When my appendix almost burst during the pandemic, and I was stuck in the hospital alone for several days, tired, disoriented, and scared. When I lost sleep over sending my unvaccinated daughter back to school, knowing her safety depended on the care and prudence of others whose decisions I couldn’t control. When every day after working in the bitter cold, I would come home to another email or complaint conveying that our community gatherings are a nuisance to the privileged, and the pain of caring became partnered with the sting of being misunderstood. In these moments, I would find myself defiantly humming and mumbling, ‘Whom shall I fear?’ I would find myself singing, ‘I can see the goodness of the Lord’ long before I saw hope for some resolution to my problem. On some level, saying these words like a prayer helped me to believe them. They reminded me of God’s presence to me, of God’s goodness, when it was hard to perceive. I have to wonder if the psalmist may have felt that way, too. Did they write these powerful words because they were feeling completely assured of God’s saving grace or because they so desperately yearned for that assurance? Beloved, I pray that when you too are struggling, you may receive the reminder you need that God is with you: God is our light and our salvation.
Prayer: Yahweh, you’re my light and my salvation. You are my strong tower, whom shall I fear?