You have searched me, O LORD, and have known me.
You know when I sit down and I rise;
you discern every thought I am thinking
far away in your heavenly skies.
You observe if I'm traveling or resting;
you know everything I ever do.
Before even I know what I'm saying,
it is something you already knew.
You protect me, before and behind me;
and your hand upon me has remained.
But such knowledge is too far beyond me;
it's too lofty and can't be attained.
Where can I ever go from your Spirit?
From your presence, then where could I flee?
If I go up to heaven, you're waiting;
if I go to the grave, there you'll be.
If I rise on the wings of the dawning,
if I dwell on the ocean's far side,
even there your hand still would be leading,
and your right hand would be there to guide.
I could ask of the darkness to hide me,
if the light around me could be night --
even darkness could not hide me from you,
there's no difference to you, dark and light.
You've created my innermost being;
in my mother's womb, knit me with care.
Thanks for making my wonderful body;
your work's awesome -- I'm fully aware.
When my bones were connected -- you saw it,
when you secretly formed me for birth;
as you skillfully sewed and embroidered
in the lowest depths found on the earth.
With your eyes, you've seen my unformed body;
all my days were ordained in your book.
Every moment laid out from my birth day,
long before that first breath that I took.
All your thoughts of me, O God, are precious.
Just how vast would those totaled thoughts be!
If I'd count, they'd outnumber the sand grains;
when I wake up, you're still here with me.
God, if you'd only slaughter the wicked!
Get away from me, bloodthirsty men!
Their intents are malicious and evil;
they misuse your name time and again.
LORD, should I not hate all those who hate you?
Who abuse you with brutality?
How I hate them with consummate hatred;
I consider them my enemy.
O God, search me and know my heart fully;
find how anxious my thoughts are all day.
See if there's any wicked within me;
lead -- I'll follow your eternal way.
This poem was a finalist in the June 2022 poetry contest