“You, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high” (Psalm 3:3) 

There is a lovely phrase in Psalm 3:3 which, in the NIV, describes God as “the One who lifts my head high.” I especially like the King James version of the same text which calls God “the lifter up of mine head.” We all recognise the common expression of ‘hanging one’s head in shame.’ Shame and guilt can certainly make us put our heads down. Moments of intense embarrassment and failure can also make us keep our heads down. Head and shoulders may droop too from sheer exhaustion when we are struggling for the motivation and strength to keep going through tough circumstances. Rejection, isolation, despair, deep sorrow, a lack of self-worth or self-confidence: these can also see us lower our look and stumble on with our heads down. It is not just a physical description. To have our heads down is a metaphor for the emotional and spiritual state we slip into when the weight of our shame or guilt or embarrassment or pain becomes too much for us to bear. Some who see us in such a moment will mock us or crow over our misfortune. Some will not know how to respond or to help and will simply withdraw. A precious few will come alongside and seek to lift our heads. Whatever has put your head down at this moment, hear the word of the Lord: He is “the lifter up” of heads. Whatever the shame or guilt, the sorrow or pain, the exhaustion or despair that has brought us down, He is our “lifter up.” May you meet the lifter up of your head this weekend.