Out of the Depths

Her keening came from the depths.  I had never heard a sound like it, nor have I heard a sound like it since.  She walked to the coffin and looked in on her beloved son and wailed, a deep primordial call to God, to the ancients, to her child--to the still, cold body.  She called from out of her depths. It was an awesome auditory experience.  To hear my grandmother's wailing over my Dad's lifeless body was to hear an ancient tongue speak the mysteries of life--out of the depths.  It silenced us all.  This call comes from the deepest part of our being, a place shared universally in human experience. The psalmist offers us her lament.  The psalmist gives us permission to be unafraid to wail out to God from our deepest places of grief, anger, fear, frustration. There is a human truth embedded in the voice of the psalm, the aggrieved, the marginalized.  It is the truth that there is a place in us that speaks in an ineffable tongue, a sighing and groaning, a language of travail that is at once transcendent and imminent, in that it shares the origins, speaks to the mystery of creation itself, of an earth caught in bondage, a creation groaning in travail as the apostle has said, waiting, looking, calling out for redemption, freedom, release.   The spirit--if not the language of the psalm--articulates both the earthiness of our mortality and the poetic hope of divine presence despite all evidence to the contrary.