Poem – A Screwtape Psalm

Have you ever read The Screwtape Letters? I’ve had the pleasure of reading though it twice in the past three months, and have really been impacted by the power of its message. One quote particularly stuck out to me as I was reading it. It says:

“Our cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do our Enemy’s will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys.” – Chapter 8, The Screwtape Letters 

I found this quote really thought-provoking. It actually really reminded me of the Psalms, where we see the Psalmists writing in utter desolation and hopelessness, yet still trusting in God in a way that transcends all human understanding. I decided to write my own, modern-day Psalm, in response and reflection to both the Psalmists’ work, and this particular quote from The Screwtape Letters.

When we don’t understand God and still choose to obey him, Satan’s stronghold trembles. What beauty there is in this trust in God that makes no sense…


“My God, my God –

why have you forsaken me?

Why does this darkness press heavy around me?


My God, my God –

have you now abandoned me?

Do you not see how I am struggling?


I never thought that following you

would leave me like this –

wounded and weary and ready to

fall and never get up again.


I never thought that when I saw you

for the first time, you would so soon

hide your face from me in the

moment I need you most.


My God, my God –

why do you require this of me?

Is not this burden too heavy for my broken heart?


My God, my God –

why can I taste no trace of your goodness

left to sweeten my sorrow?


I never thought that you would call me

to walk this path alone,

to tremble and stumble in this

shadowed, silent valley.


I never thought that you would ask

even more of my heavy soul

than the all it is already giving –

poured out like an offering before you.


My God, my God –

why have you forsaken me?

Why do you hide your face from me?


My God my God –

when will this trouble be over?

When will I find the peace I long for?


I never thought I would be here –

standing empty-handed and heavy-souled

in this weary life of

tearful nights and shadowed days.


Yet – you have called me to walk this road.

You have called me to this trouble of the soul.

And so even when you hide your face from me –

Yet, you have called, and so I will obey.”


Have you ever read The Screwtape Letters? If so, what are your thoughts on it? I’d love to chat in the comments!


Author: Hannah

Jesus follower. writer. bibliophile. dreamer.

5 thoughts on “Poem – A Screwtape Psalm”

  1. Thank you for a beautiful poem, Hannah. It reminded me of Jesus and his cries to his father in the Garden of Gethsemane. There are so many times in life where he calls us to walk in his steps and trust and obey even when things don’t make sense. Thanks for expressing the emotion of those moments so beautifully.

    Liked by 1 person

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