In my moments of great loss, I have often turned, alone and in hiding, to the Psalms of Ascent. They’re short. They cut straight through to my soul. They give me permission to cry out, forlorn, toward God—to show my hopelessness and my trust, my hunger for rescue, my angry energy at injustice, and also, finally, the exhausted peace of having been heard and finally being safe.
I was in my 40s when my grandmother, Jewel, died in her mid-90s. One of my strongest childhood memories was sleeping in the extra twin bed in her room and hearing her pray aloud for each family member by name before she went to sleep.