Each week I’ve been posting one of my photographs that resonates for me as it relates to the psalm we’re covering at Darkwood Brew. The last couple weeks I used the picture as sort of a landing point. A final thought. This week, I’m going to lead with it.
This young woman was marching in Phoenix with tens of thousands of people opposed to the state of Arizona’s planned implementation of policies they believe to be racist.
I can only understand her ire as an observer. I’m obviously not Hispanic. The border check officers always wave me right through. No one asks for my papers. In the context of Psalm 137, I’m pure Babylonian.
I can only understand the ire of the psalmist as an observer. Any roots of cultural Jewishness are buried pretty deep. I can be sympathetic, but I can’t really grasp the depth of the anger. The Temple is a historical curiosity. Long gone. No big deal. These things happen, after all.
Psalm 137 wasn’t written for the Babylonians. Not even metaphorical ones, like me. I’m not really any of the “dis” words that disorientation might indicate. Not discouraged. Not displaced. Not disenfranchised. Even so, there is a message in Psalm 137. Push people down long enough and hard enough and they may, in fact, call on their God to do us great harm.
And while they may not be entirely righteous in the asking, who would I, a Babylonian after all, be to blame them?