Throughout the past 7 weeks doing my hospital chaplaincy internship I have been asked to pray. I pray with patients. I pray with families and friends. I pray before surgery. I pray as there is imminent death.
The other day when I walked into a room, the woman’s request was to “I need spiritual uplift. I need to regain my faith.” She has been going through some difficult medical issues and has some difficult situations at home as well. But she felt herself less faithful than usual, so much so, that she felt that she had to ask God for forgiveness.
This was not a conversation I am used to having. I rarely talk about my faith in God. I rarely talk about faith. And here I was, watching a person suffer both physically and spiritually, asking for me to give them faith.
She had a phone call (which I kinda hoped would let me leave) that gave me a bit of time to think of something, and I came up with Psalm 130.
Anyone who went to Jewish day school or camp or attends services regularly probably knows this one by heart. Any time there is anything bad going on (and unfortunately there is a lot, even today) we would end davening with Psalm 130. The Psalm of calling out from the depths. The Psalm of crying out to God from our lowest place, praying that He will hear us and save us. Praying that he will forgive us and watch over us.
For those who are suffering. For those who have been injured. For those who are living in fear. For those who have lost hope. For those who have lost loved ones. For those who are also worried about the state of the world. Let us say Psalm 130, and may God hear us.
A song of ascents. Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord; Lord, hear my voice.Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy. If you, Lord, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you. I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,and in his word I put my hope. I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning. Israel, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption. He himself will redeem Israel from all their sins.