I lift up my eyes to the hills—from where will my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

Psalm 121:1-2

Sonnet for Psalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the hills, to you,
Wondering again how and when you will
Help our broken world. Your promise is true;
I trust that our healing comes from you. Still
I ask, and hear the angels when your son
Ascended to the heavens: Why stand here
Looking up? Don’t you know that he will come
In the same way? Be patient, do not fear.
So rather than look up hoping to see
You coming in some dramatic fashion,
I behold the morning rays through the trees
And remember your promise, your passion.
When I lift my eyes, I hear you whisper:
“My child, I am here – now and forever.”


Psalm 121 is beloved for a reason – we all find ourselves looking up to the hills at times, wondering where and when our help will come. Our world has been doing this together this year, as we have lived through this pandemic. But we don’t need a pandemic to realize that we share this in common. Where and when will come our help? As people of faith, the answer is sweet relief, whenever we remind ourselves of it – our help comes from the Lord. Knowing and believing that, we can turn our eyes back to our next steps in this world, and get to work helping to usher in God’s reign. While we wait and we watch, we work. We work for God and with God, trusting that God is not up in the hills somewhere, but right here in the valley with us.

Here, then, is Psalm 121, followed by other scripture passages that I had in mind when I wrote the sonnet, along with the sonnet again, followed by a closing prayer:

Psalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the hills—
    from where will my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
    who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved;
    he who keeps you will not slumber.
He who keeps Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper;
    the Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
    nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all evil;
    he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep
    your going out and your coming in
    from this time on and forevermore.

Scripture Passages

Remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age. – Matthew 28:20

They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” – Acts 1:11

Sonnet for Psalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the hills, to you,
Wondering again how and when you will
Help our broken world. Your promise is true;
I trust that our healing comes from you. Still
I ask, and hear the angels when your son
Ascended to the heavens: Why stand here
Looking up? Don’t you know that he will come
In the same way? Be patient, do not fear.
So rather than look up hoping to see
You coming in some dramatic fashion,
I behold the morning rays through the trees
And remember your promise, your passion.
When I lift my eyes, I hear you whisper:
“My child, I am here – now and forever.”

Closing Prayer

We lift our eyes, Lord, and our hearts to you. We ask again for your help, for those we love and for all our broken world. We give you thanks for your promise to help us and to be with us, now and forever. Help us to trust in that promise and to share it faithfully. Through Christ our Lord. Amen

The view from Clingmans Dome, on the border of North Carolina and Tennessee

2 thoughts on “Sonnet for Psalm 121

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