You'll like it better than red, ripe strawberries

This is one of my favorite poems, the Message translation of Psalm 19, by Eugene Peterson.(originally by, the one from the Bible. Obviously. Anyway.)

A newlywed man leaping out of bed, ripe strawberries, starting the day "sun-washed," it sounds like a glorious hippie honeymoon and yet it also speaks to the experience I'm going through spiritually. As things I never thought I'd think or feel or say nevertheless tumble out of me, as a life I never dreamed would be my own is given to me freely, wholly unearned, piece by piece, according to my ability to handle it, with a whisper promising, "But wait- there's even more to come!" There's only one source, and it ain't my imagination. I've been imaginative my whole life and I never dreamed up this.

Psalm 19

God’s glory is on tour in the skies,
    God-craft on exhibit across the horizon.
Madame Day holds classes every morning,
    Professor Night lectures each evening.
3-4 Their words aren’t heard,
    their voices aren’t recorded,
But their silence fills the earth:
    unspoken truth is spoken everywhere.
4-5 God makes a huge dome
    for the sun—a superdome!
The morning sun’s a new husband
    leaping from his honeymoon bed,
The daybreaking sun an athlete
    racing to the tape.
6 That’s how God’s Word vaults across the skies
    from sunrise to sunset,
Melting ice, scorching deserts,
    warming hearts to faith.
7-9 The revelation of God is whole
    and pulls our lives together.
The signposts of God are clear
    and point out the right road.
The life-maps of God are right,
    showing the way to joy.
The directions of God are plain
    and easy on the eyes.
God’s reputation is twenty-four-carat gold,
    with a lifetime guarantee.
The decisions of God are accurate
    down to the nth degree.
10 God’s Word is better than a diamond,
    better than a diamond set between emeralds.
You’ll like it better than strawberries in spring,
    better than red, ripe strawberries.
11-14 There’s more: God’s Word warns us of danger
    and directs us to hidden treasure.
Otherwise how will we find our way?
    Or know when we play the fool?
Clean the slate, God, so we can start the day fresh!
    Keep me from stupid sins,
    from thinking I can take over your work;
Then I can start this day sun-washed,
    scrubbed clean of the grime of sin.
These are the words in my mouth;
    these are what I chew on and pray.
Accept them when I place them
    on the morning altar,
O God, my Altar-Rock,
    God, Priest-of-My-Altar.


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