“This is the service of the clans of the Gershonites, in serving and bearing burdens: they shall carry the curtains of the tabernacle and the tent of meeting with its covering…”—Numbers 4:23-24
Here I am—doing the service of my father’s clan. You have chosen us for this task: to carry the robes of you, our king. O Lord, we are not worthy; I have seen your deeds. It has only been two years since you quenched a path through the sea. I had never been so dry yet felt so washed in a single moment. It was then I first be- lieved in you. I feared you, and I clung to your holy name, though I dared not even whisper it. Yet now, again, I doubt. I feel the daggers of distrust and the whispers of my former death. They entangle me though I know I have seen your mighty hand. Lord, help me remember the walls of the Red Sea. You had them stand in order that mine would fall—crushing my unbelief. With trembling, I spoke to you in the night and thought of you often. My heart rested in its savior. Yet here, as we walk, doubts clutch my mind while my hands cling to your robe. I am grateful and undone as we follow your fire through the night. My eyes flood with tears. They race madly down my cheeks and onto the curtains we carry.
You have chosen my clan to bear the weight of these curtains, yet it is you that must bear us up. Let my brother not see the quaking of my knees. I know I hold in my hands the cloak of the Almighty. I cannot carry more; my heart is at war. Surrender me to yourself again, O Lord. Save me from my doubt, or I shall perish in this wilderness. Have mercy on me, for I have wept on the robes of my savior. I believe; help my unbelief.
Taken from the 2019 edition of Artos, the literary journal of Bethlehem College & Seminary students. Art by I. Indermitte, A.A. ’20