In a Fog

Sunday, October 16

I lift my eyes to the hills – from where will my help come? Psalm 121:1, NRSV

In the Bible of my childhood, the old King James, Psalm 121:1 wasn’t a question, but a statement: I lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. It wasn’t until I was well into my 20’s that I learned it was a grammatical error. Correcting the punctuation moved it from an affirmation of faith and trust to an uncertain questioning. I look to the hills not because I know the source of my help, but because I can’t see it. It’s hidden in a fog that I cannot penetrate, and I am looking for an answer that has yet to appear. In that time and place of mystery and uncertainty, I can only wait and hope that such an answer will appear. And it does:

My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.

The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time on and forevermore.

Psalm 121:2-8, NRSV

The older I get, the happier I am to live with the questioning version. There have been so many times that I’ve needed to ask this very question, and the psalm gave me the words of faith to do just that.