Good morning dear ones! We have ice out there! Please stay safe!
Today’s scripture: Psalm 123
To you I lift up my eyes,
O you who are enthroned in the heavens!
2 As the eyes of servants
look to the hand of their master,
as the eyes of a maid
to the hand of her mistress,
so our eyes look to the Lord our God,
until he has mercy upon us.
3 Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us,
for we have had more than enough of contempt.
4 Our soul has had more than its fill
of the scorn of those who are at ease,
of the contempt of the proud.
What does it take for you to lift your eyes up? What does it take for you to stop in the middle of the craziness of the day and call out for God?
The Psalmists were brilliant and poignant poets. They don’t disguise their lament and their joy. The Psalms could have been songs to carry theology. Most of all the Psalms always always always hit on raw emotion. This is what I love about reading the Psalms. When I am in the midst of my own stuff, deep where I go when I am at my worst, I can read some of the laments and realize that the words in the depths of lament are comforting and helpful to me. When I want to relate to joy filled poetry and beauty all around, the psalms of praise lift my spirits.
On a day like today when the world seems to be covered in a darker season and for West Coast Oregonians, on a day when ice is thick on the ground, it is nice to be reminded to lift my eyes…..
And often I need the reminded to look up because I sometimes get sooooo busy it is hard to remember to talk with God about all sorts of things in the world. I get too caught in the looking down so I don’t trip. There are so many things to do and people to see and things to get done that sometimes I forget to look up when it all isn’t going so well or even if it is. It isn’t until the world changes that I remember. When it is thick with ice…I am given a moment to look up. When I do fall, I look up….
I had a moment when I completely lost it. It wasn’t long after my grandfather passed and I was running from place to place. I hadn’t really dealt with all of my grief. I had made sauteed squash for a potluck for our fourth worship service, Bread and Wine. I had very little time to get it there. On my way to the car, I tripped and I fell hard. I fell so hard that the bowl hit the ground and shattered into a million pieces. The summer squash went EVERYWHERE and a good portion landed back on me. My knees were extremely scraped. I was on my hands and kneeds, covered in squishy squash, dirt and my own blood and I started to weep. I started to weep so hard that I rolled over and just lay in the driveway. I cried and cried. This was my front driveway so I heard cars drive by and I still cried. I lay there and looked into the sky and just…cried. I lifted my eyes and God met me there…in the muck and in my total grief.
I finally picked myself up and dragged myself into the house. I changed my clothes. I called my mom and cried to her. She couldn’t understand what I was saying but she listened. I finally got ok enough to go to worship, without a potluck item and almost late even though I was leading it. And in this worship service, the others carried me that night. Someone saw my state and started the worship. Another person raised up wine glasses to give thanks for my grandfathers life. And we told stories. We told stories about our families and our grief and about when we had to give it to God. Here God, hold this….”I lift my eyes.”
That was an extreme moment of making me lift my eyes in the worst space. I don’t want to wait until then to talk to God. I need those spaces every day where I pause and lift my eyes. What does it take for you? For me, it takes intentional moments in my day. For me ,it takes breathing and spending time in conversation with God. Sometimes its just those famous simple prayers that Anne Lamott talks about, “help me. help me help me” and “thank you thank you thank you.”
What about for you? When will you lift your eyes this morning?