When I was a little girl, I frequently had bad dreams. I even had a recurring dream; thankfully, it’s been so long since the last occurrence, I no longer remember that dream, but it’s hard to forget the fright that usually woke me up.
Sometime during those young years, I remember hearing a hymn in church called He Holds My Hand. The song begins: He holds my hand, Jesus holds my hand. Safely and gently He leads the way, He is my keeper from day to day. (There’s an instrumental rendition of this hymn on YouTube. The video includes captioned lyrics as well as music.)
The truth conveyed by that hymn was comfort I needed in the dark hours of night. When the bad dreams came, words from that hymn gave me courage. I could lie awake in my bed with a mental image of God’s ample hand holding me, just as the very solid substance of mattress and foundation did. I had confidence God would fold his fingers around me before any imagined harm could snatch me away!
One of the lifetime goals I’ve set for myself is to complete 100 sonnets, as a means of moving closer to mastery of this lovely poetic form. (I’m under no illusion of reaching Shakespearean expertise, but my hope is to achieve a satisfactory level of competency… for me.) In two previous posts (here and here), I’ve shared sonnets. This is my latest installment.
Night terrors and bad dreams don’t affect me as they once did. However, the image from Psalm 63 of David, the shepherd and king, meditating in the night watches provided the inspiration for this sonnet. The last phrase “thy right hand upholds me” certainly carries the idea I found so comforting during the bad dreams of my childhood.