1 Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
2 I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.”
3 As for the holy ones in the land, they are the noble, in whom is all my
4 Those who choose another god multiply their sorrows; their drink
offerings of blood I will not pour out or take their names upon my lips.
5 The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot.
6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; I have a goodly
7 I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart
8 I keep the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall
not be moved.
9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices; my body also rests
10 For you do not give me up to Sheol, or let your faithful one see the Pit.
11 You show me the path of life. In your presence there is fullness of joy; in
your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
“Protect me, O God…”
Today, I hear these words in conversation with a poem by Langston
Hughes published in 1947:
Who but the Lord?
I looked and I saw
That man they call the Law.
He was coming
Down the street at me!
I had visions in my head
Of being laid out cold and dead,
Or else murdered
By the third degree.
I said, O, Lord, if you can,
Save me from that man!
Don’t let him make a pulp out of me!
But the Lord he was not quick.
The Law raised up his stick
And beat the living hell
Out of me!
Now, I do not understand
Why God don’t protect a man
From police brutality.
Being poor and black,
I’ve no weapon to strike back
So who but the Lord
Can protect me?