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  If we have forgotten the name of our God, 
   or stretched out our hands to any strange god,

  Will not God search it out? 
   For God knows the secrets of the heart.

  But for your sake are we killed all the day long, 
   and are counted as sheep for the slaughter.

  Rise up! Why sleep, O Lord? 
   Awake, and do not reject us for ever.

  Why do you hide your face 
   and forget our grief and oppression?

  Our soul is bowed down to the dust; 
   our belly cleaves to the earth.

  Rise up, O Lord, to help us 
   and redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love.

Psalm 44.20-26


Describing God’s love.  This portion of Psalm 44 isn’t an easy read.  It sounds like a desperate cry, because it is!  In fact, it’s downright depressing, since God seems to be absent while the people suffered terribly.  And if God is absent, where then is God’s love?  Psalm 44 was written during the Babylonian Exile, at a time of great despair for the Jewish nation, but hope that God would rescue them.  The author of Psalm 44 was expressing very human, intimate feelings of pain and frustration and fear.  The author knew that God had helped the Jewish people in the past, and clings to that thread of hope that God, in God’s love, will hear their cries.  

There is no good English translation for the word khesed (grace, compassion) since we don’t have a word in English that captures all of the nuanced meaning of the Hebrew word.  Khesed is a type of affection one has for another.  Though it’s far, far more than affection.  It’s a loyal love in action, a commitment to be generous to that person for the long haul!  God’s love and commitment to us is all encompassing, even when we can’t feel God’s presence, or think we’ve been forgotten.  And friends, we can put our faith in that.


Here I AM,
looking out for you
counting your every step
guiding you all the way
each and every day.

Here I AM,
feeling all your hurt
healing all your pain
taking away the sting
shielding you with My wing.

Here I AM,
always besides you
never leaving, never parting
for I AM always here
I AM forever near.

Here I AM,
seeing you worry
giving you My peace
watching your concern
bringing you new hope
helping you to cope.

So, if you ever wonder,
where I can be found
all you have to do
is take a look around…
For I AM here!

Deborah Ann Belka


In the darkness of unknowing,

when your love seems absent,

draw near to us, O God,

in Christ forsaken,

in Christ risen,

our Redeemer and our Lord. Amen

From the Church of England, Common Worship