Good morning all! We made it to Friday…hooray!
Today’s scripture: Psalm 139:1-12 (NRSV)
1 O Lord, you have searched me and known me.
2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from far away.
3 You search out my path and my lying down,
and are acquainted with all my ways.
4 Even before a word is on my tongue,
O Lord, you know it completely.
5 You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is so high that I cannot attain it.
7 Where can I go from your spirit?
Or where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there;
if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning
and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light around me become night,”
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is as bright as the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
When my brothers and I were little, we had many rituals around different things, like kiddos do. We got up at certain times and ate certain things. We put on our jammies at a certain time and sometimes with songs around that (my parents are extremely creative). We said a certain table grace before we ate dinner and asked if we could leave the table. We celebrated certain ways and had routines around practicing musical instruments and doing homework. We also said goodnight to our parents a certain way. As we headed up to bed we would go to each of my parents, give them a kiss and a hug and say, “Goodnight. I love you. I will see you in the morning.”
Every night we did this. It was how we said good night. I remember doing this until I was well into high school. This isn’t really anything that my parents taught that I can remember but we did it, all of us. It was comforting and sweet. If my grandmother came to visit, she got the same treatment. “Good night. I love you. See you in the morning.” This was part of how we ended the day. The day would not be the same without it. There was something deeply comforting about this ritual. I knew that my parents were close by all night and had my back even when I was sleeping.
This Psalm is that kind of comforting to me. This Psalm is one of my favorite pieces of poetry ever. I remember discovering this psalm as a child and realizing that I was going to be in lifelong relationship with it. That it would remind me that God is present no matter what. When I am sleeping, God is around and has my back. God knows me inside and out and knows where I go and what I am doing and will walk alongside me no matter the choices I make. There isn’t one right way for God because God is in all of it. When I discovered this Psalm, I realized God is so much bigger than anything I can imagine. God can handle when I yell at God. God can rejoice with me. And God will still choose me, over and over again.
I have been waiting for a phone call for the past 24 hours and it has been excruciating. You know those moments in your life when you know you are waiting for something that is going to change it but you aren’t really certain how? And a piece of you just wants it to happen so you can deal with it? Yeah, it is one of those moments in my life. The waiting is crazy. It is an active waiting. I have to be moving otherwise I get pretty anxious. No worries, it is nothing medical. I have a had a few moments like this one in Lent that remind me that Lent is much closer to Advent than I think. Throughout this process of shifting in the season and waiting, I have realized that God is still God throughout. Whatever decisions need to be made in life, in the homeless situation, in my day to day, because of this Psalm I can say that God definitely will come with us in the journey. This doesn’t really make waiting any easier but it does assure us that God meets us there in it.
What are you waiting for? What comforts you? What do you think of this Psalm?