Psalm 6 – Welcome to the Sad Zone

Bible opened to Psalm 6 with Madecasse bean-to-bar Madagascar dark chocolate and Bad Decision Dinosaur shot glass of milk

Today’s passage: Psalm 6

Today’s chocolateMadécasse 70% cocoa

Actually, “Sad Zone” is probably too tame. “Misery Zone?” “Zone of Inconsolable Sorrow?” “Cry Hole?” There we go. Welcome to the Cry Hole.

Perhaps you, too, have been to the Cry Hole. It is a place where it seems like the tears just won’t stop coming. And maybe they abate for long enough that you can go out in public, but then you feel them coming back, and you’re running for the nearest restroom stall to hide your tears in. Every night, like David, you make your bed swim in tears (6). The Cry Hole is a terrible place to be, and if I were currently in the Cry Hole, I would not refer to it so flippantly. I love a good laugh, but there’s nothing to laugh at in the Cry Hole. Which is why I hate being in the Cry Hole.

What do you do in the Cry Hole? Well, if you’re David, you beg God for mercy. You appeal to his sense of pity with how pathetic your plight is. You say to him: “Return, O Lord, rescue my soul; save me because of Your lovingkindness. For there is no mention of You in death; in Sheol who will give You thanks?” (4-5). It’s an interesting argument to make to God, that if he lets you die then you won’t be able to praise him, because it suggests that David might think there’s no life after death. And when you’re in the Cry Hole, sometimes the world does look just that bleak.

But there’s a turn at the end. David may not yet be out of the Cry Hole, but he at least appears to have moved from disorientation to reorientation. And why is that? He writes,

[T]he Lord has heard the voice of my weeping.
The Lord has heard my supplication,
The Lord receives my prayer. (8-9)

God heard him. God is not so far removed from the Cry Hole that he cannot hear David’s cry.

Interestingly, the psalm begins with directions: “For the choir director; with stringed instruments, upon an eight-string lyre. A Psalm of David.” I earlier referred to hiding your tears in the bathroom or in your bed, but David intended for this psalm to be performed in public with a choir and instruments. He put his sorrow into a song and put his Cry Hole out in public. It takes a lot of courage to do that: a level of courage which, honestly, sometimes I do not possess.

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