Story, Value, and Becoming More Real
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After Psalm 139

May 16, 2023

Amy Malskeit


“…you were with me, but I was not with you.” 

Augustine, Confessions


Oh my God, you search me

like a Mother searches 

her newborn,

             eyes beholding 

             the miracle of my being:





and yet 

my understanding

             of this knowing 

is not the knowing

                                        you seek.





the shame of my nakedness

sends me running 

            for the bushes.


Eyes closed tight

I hear you call to me, 

ask me to name

              where I am.


Where am I?


I rehearse my lists of sins, 

              my lists of failures, 

              my lists of how I’ve been failed,

and here I fail 

              to lift my eyes,

                             fail to see you 

                             seeing me.



my God, 

            how often 

do I stand before a mirror—

            holding my breath—

behold myself                          alone, 


What if I risk 

              lifting my eyes, 

              see You seeing me, 

find myself

held in your gentleness, 

              see you beholding 

my goodness,

my deepest dreams

my long-forgotten longings?


It is here I can exhale—


breathe deep again

your breath, 

                  —my God.

Your breath fills my lungs 

and in your gaze,

I see 

           and I am known.

The featured image, “Twinkle Lights in a Jar,” is courtesy of Lancia E. Smith and is used with her glad permission for Cultivating.


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  1. Terri Moon says:

    Dear Amy, this poem searches far into my soul, just like the Psalm it is born of. I love Psalm 139 anyway, but the way you weave together the its truths is so good! God knows “my deepest dreams, my long-forgotten longings…” Thank you so much for writing such beautiful poetry!

  2. Megan says:

    So beautiful, Amy! Thank you for these words!

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