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A Prayer from the Valley


“He guides me along right paths,
    bringing honor to his name.

Even when I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
    for you are close beside me.”

– Psalm 23


but surely there must be some mistake.

don’t you see? I trusted you to guide me along right paths,
god you know I prayed a thousand times that you would lead me
and yet I ended up here.



they call it the valley of the shadow of death.
a bit melodramatic, sure. but not one bit darker
than the aching swirling terrifying heaviness I feel here.
surely there must be some mistake.

if you were guiding me along right paths,
why the hell am I walking through the darkest valley now?


tossing and turning in the early hours of the morning,
I can reach only two conclusions:

either you fucked up and led me wrong, or
I fucked up, fucked this all up and somehow
wandered off the path you carved for me.

we’ve walked circles in this wilderness long enough for me to know
that you can be trusted; no, the blame isn’t on you.

but I’ve listened for your voice in the crushing silence,
leaned into hope with every step I took
and I swear, I swear, I thought I was walking toward you


I am lost.

lost without a map, always without a map.
god, what I wouldn’t give for a sliver of certainty –
for a clear path, a safe horizon, a guaranteed destination.


but there is no map, no light, no horizon.
there is only you.

could it be, that this is not a mistake?
could it be, that this is enough?
could it be that you are indeed close beside me,

even here?

published August 17, 2015

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