O My Soul

March 29, 2017


“breath departs”

Thousands of years of people coming and going—
rulers and their subjects, lords and their servants,
mothers, fathers, cousins, little sisters,
bakers, garbage men, writers, pastors,
tyrants, saints, you, and me.

No matter the breadth of our thoughts,
the reach of our words,
the might of our deeds,
our breath one day departs,
and we fade like the snow in spring.
The dust of our bodies
returns to the dust of the earth.
We are not a foundation to build trust upon.


“and all that is in them”

It’s a warm winter.
The trees are confused.
The birds are singing early.
Buds peeking through
what is usually an ice-covered February and March.
The wondrousness of creation is grasped a little more
because of the strangeness of the year.

It rains more than snows.
The ground swells like a sponge.
The grass is already greening.
Birds soar in the blue above.
The stars run ‘round.
Tree buds open into little worlds of their own.
Creation seems hundreds of times bigger
when springtime growth begins.

I am convinced part of each creature’s praise to its Maker
is the act of eating.
What better way to thank the Lord for life given
than to joyfully partake
of the gifts he has given to sustain us?


“those who are bowed down”

He is the one who upholds.

Those caught in prisons of

bar and stone,

he liberates.

The blind man,
the child with hearing aids,
the soldier who lost his legs,
the young woman plagued by chronic illness,
the uncle with cancer,
the grandmother with Alzheimer’s
he heals.

The widow swallowed by sorrow,
the orphan crushed by the weight of loneliness,
the stranger bowed down under forbidding looks that simply say

“you are not welcome here”

he lifts up.

He is the restorer,
the maker of new things.


“loves the righteous”

You are not righteous.
Neither am I.
None of us are.
None of us can be.

And yet.

You are a beloved child of God.
A child that he has called his own.
Paid for with blood, oh so precious.
A life lost for you to be made righteous.
That same life restored so that you might be
restored with him.

You have been made new,
created by the Father,

maker of new things,

and redeemed through Christ,

maker of new things,

and indwelled by the Spirit,

maker of new things.

A sanctified,
child of God.


“keeps faith forever”

Thousands of years of people coming and going—
yet the faithfulness of the Lord continues,
through our moments of fragility, despair, and adultery,
despite our ever-growing pile of idols,
in the face of our faithlessness.
No matter the shifting winds of our desires,
he is a rock that does not move.
A foundation to build hope upon.
As long as we live.
And forevermore.

“Praise the Lord, O my soul!”

About the Author
  • Hannah Barker Nickolay is a first year student at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, MI. She is a poet, theatre artist, musician, and worship designer who longs to find the place where all these things meet to serve the Kingdom. She is married to a fellow theatre artist named Jackson. She loves nothing more than sharing good food and good words with dear friends.

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