Reed Fowler (They/Them)
Lutheran School of Theology
My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make melody.
Psalm 57:7, NRSV
I have a practice of reading the Psalms nightly. It started with the goal of integrating and building a daily spiritual practice, and it’s given me the added benefit of familiarizing myself with these songs, these poems, these prayers.
This line from Psalm 57 is both prayer and promise.
My heart is not always steadfast. When it is, I sing out. When it isn’t, I sing out. Sometimes singing, yes, although I am still finding my range in the midst of testosterone and transition. Sometimes I read ‘singing’ as translated onto other forms of creative expression – weaving, knitting, writing. Arts practice, for me, acts as a form of resistance, and a source of steadfastness. Even in a world that is increasingly painful, increasingly alienated, we can dream alternative futures. We can dream projects and ideas into being.
We can steady our hearts through prayer, through song, through paint, through cloth, through movement.
I long for a steadfast heart, one that never doubts, that never fears, and I know even with those longings, my heart will falter. But we worship a creative, life-giving, spirited God, who holds us, and holds us steady, when it feels like everything is coming apart at the seams. I worship a God who delights in our creativity, in our resilience, in the way we make melodies with each other.
Our hearts resonate with each other, as we build community, build steadfastness, the Hebrew word which can be translated as “to be firm, to prepare, to establish.” We establish our hearts alongside God’s heart. We prepare our hearts to do the hard work of imagining alternate possibilities, to dream that another way is possible, another pattern is possible. We cry out in prayer and in promise, we sing out that our hearts are steadfast, we pray that God will make our hearts steadfast in the midst of pain, and oppression, and fear, trusting always in God’s melody of liberation.
God, let us be steadfast. Hold us in your love. Wrap your dreams around us, and sing through us. Let us delight in your new creation, always breaking into the world, breaking through our patterns of harm and distance. Accept our prayers, and strengthen us with your promise. We pray this through your Beloved One and Holy Spirit. Amen.