Broken Hallelujah

Broken Hallelujah

(Enter Into The Royal Melancholia)


The king sat behind the gloom of yesterday’s chaos. It was his own.

Image: Gerard van Honthorst (1590–1656) - King David Playing The Harp (Web Source:

Image: Gerard van Honthorst (1590–1656) – King David Playing The Harp
(Web Source:

His eyes were now dry with tears. Heart, wet with guilt. Just inches beyond his reach was his harp. It was so easy for him to play this before. That is, before any of these happened. The songs naturally flowed out of his heart. Now, his life breathed out darkness – and darkness could never truly create a psalm. It was all gloomy, and silent. The silence around him though was so noisy. His guilt whispered roars. The space in-between his heart and everything else seemed to be growing wider and wider. All his hallelujahs were broken laments from a guilty soul. He committed a sin: he loved. If only this love was acceptable. If only this life was undoable. He loved wrongly; he loved the wrong lover. And now he’s facing his own demons.

It did not take him long to understand that the love he thought he had, wasn’t pure love all along. Lust isn’t love. Sin is loving the wrong lover – and the sad part is this: he always knew this. Even from the very moment he laid his eyes on the bathing Bathsheba. He knew it was evil. But he did it anyway. And even plotted the cover-up.

David got up, then after a few seconds sat down again. His legs were shaking – the kind of feeling that will get him nowhere but circles – towards himself and only himself. He had to face something disgusting; a monster bigger than Goliath. He had to face the mirror. His heartbeat was faster than his breathing. He knew that he sinned against God. He sinned. Against God.

He stood up once again, went towards the harp and clenched its pillar tightly. He almost touched the strings, but like a shocked cat, he automatically zapped his hands away as if he would be cursed if he ever touched it. He then went back to his seat, took the clean sheet of papyrus and inked his quill.  He started to write: “Have mercy on me O God, according to the obedience and devotion I had done to you before. Forget not my ways and works for You. I have done lots of good things before that deserves even just a little merit to overshadow any wrong I’ve done…” He pondered on the words hungrily. Ate it in bigger chunks. And then he suddenly choked on it. He could not gulp it down – especially the word “deserve”. Does this word convey anything true? He burped out utter discomfort. He was reminded again that darkness could never truly create a psalm.

Oh the chutzpah of King David. He was suddenly thrown back into time. His failures allowed him to see life backtrack, and what did he see? God’s grace backing him up – All-The-Time. T’was grace that brought him here this far. And what shall he boast? That he has beaten Goliath? That he killed ten thousands? That He was the king of the most resilient and God-ordained nation in the entire world? Nothing. He couldn’t boast anything. The very thing that remained in his mind’s eye was great darkness and the finger of the prophet Nathan, pointing directly towards his face. Nathan’s words were brimstone to the soul: “You are the man!” His soul was dwarfed down into several inches of shame and disgust. I am the man… That time, he both feared and was desperate of grace. The courage that killed the giant crashed and burned like the walls of Jericho – the heaviness of sin was breaking him down. Grace was like a lamplight that was beamed towards the shadows and the little critters stormed into hiding. His soul was the critter.

But it was the very thing, he knew, he needed. He needed light. He needed grace. He tore apart the parchment in front of him and got himself a new one. Tears fell from his eyes, but not because he was in the darkness. It was because he knew where to find light. His heart was ripped into pieces because in front of grace, he knew who he was in the light of who God is. He’s just the king of Israel. God, is God of the entire universe.

“Have mercy on me, O God,” David paused his quill from running. He smiled because he knew very well that the next lines were from his heart. It wasn’t because he was worthy or deserving of mercy. Actually it was the other way around. He knew he wasn’t, that’s why he needed more than ever, grace. “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions…”

Now, there’s light. And he was about to finish a psalm.


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