Spiritual Reading-Exile

Psalm 137 Super flumina

1 By the waters of Babylon we sat down and wept, *
when we remembered you, O Zion.

exile, far from home, far from Zion, from Jerusalem
far from our center, our heart, our life
How did this happen? What idols did we worship that led us here?
How did we alienate ourselves from our Zion, our heart, our center, our God

2 As for our harps, we hung them up *
on the trees in the midst of that land.

our joy lost, our culture, our hopes and dreams nullified
so we sat by alien waters and contributed our tears
lost in a desert, no nourishment for our hearts
wandered far in a land that was waste
inhabiting a death in life

3 For those who led us away captive asked us for a song, and our oppressors called for mirth: *
“Sing us one of the songs of Zion.”

Now our captors want us to entertain them with the shreds of our culture
“And the darkies are happy all day.”
like “Negro Spirituals” in their hymn books so they can join in
these mamzers won’t even let us hang up our damned harps
We know singing those songs won’t revive us but they delight alien masters.

4 How shall we sing the LORD’S song *
upon an alien soil?

Our songs are roots music that won’t root in this alien soil
we ourselves don’t root and grow here
the food of our joy withers on the vine
we starve for our Jerusalem

5 If I forget you, O Jerusalem, *
let my right hand forget its skill.
6 Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth if I do not remember you, *
if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy.

I will remember, I will, I will, I will.
I will maintain my skill, my love, my way of life
It will be there waiting for The Day
I am alive
I’m not dead yet
I can still sing my own song
Never forget. Je souvien

7 Remember the day of Jerusalem, O LORD, against the people of Edom, *
who said, “Down with it! down with it! even to the ground!”

Avenge me, I cry, revenge, revenge, revenge
revenge those destroying my life

8 O Daughter of Babylon, doomed to destruction, *
happy the one who pays you back for what you have done to us!
9 Happy shall he be who takes your little ones, *
and dashes them against the rock!

My own feeling of revenge are abhorrent.
I am abhorrent.
How can I feel these verses?
How can I not?
I know myself in knowing this
Bowed down and ashamed.
I repent in dust and ashes.

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