This was a very personal experience yesterday when I used this Psalm for Ignatian prayer, and to be honest, I wasn’t sure if I should share it, but here goes. I don’t reveal too much in this post, but I hope to point you in the right direction and that someone reading this will find comfort.
This week, according to the plan for Ignatian prayer that I am using (available from Grove Books), I am working through ‘Psalms that hold on to Trust and Hope’. On Monday I looked at Psalm 16 and it did nothing for me. However, yesterday, prior to my time of prayer I found myself getting worked up about a situation between myself and someone who has hurt me over many years. So, by the time I was ready to read the Psalm I was in need of some trust and hope, I felt vulnerable, ashamed, sad, scared and afraid. It was as if God was preparing me to see these Psalms in a different light.
Psalm 27 contains beautiful words, images and metaphors that offer comfort and help to anyone who has been hurt by others, please take the time to read it. This is what I learnt through it:
- v1 and v5 God will keep us safe, he can even place us out of reach from those who hurt us and conceal us from them.
- v8 and v10 Whatever happens, if I see the person again, or if I hide from them, God says he will be with me and that it is OK for me to stay with him in the safe place that he provides for me.
- There is no need for us to try to hurt the one who is hurting us.
- v6 It is possible to praise God in hiding, we don’t have to be out there pretending everything is OK.
- v11 Asks God ‘how should I respond?’. I am wondering if I should still try to see the person who has hurt me or if should keep away from them. I can put this decision into God’s hands.
If any of this seems remotely useful or hopeful then I encourage you to read Psalm 27 and dig into it for what God longs to say to you.