Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Psalms and Sighs
The psalm on Sunday, Psalm 27, and some of the ones assigned for Morning Prayer this week, have been providing me with much food for thought. In fact, I feel stuffed and sleepy at times. What caught my attention on Sunday were the last two verses:
What if I had not believed
that I should see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living!
O tarry and await the Lord's pleasure;
be strong, and he shall comfort your heart;
wait patiently for the Lord.
These lines spoke directly to so many recent events in my long and winding and wacky journey with God. "What if I had not believed..." is a statement that made me think, "Yeah, seriously! What if I live staring only into the abyss, and therefore missing the good that is all around me? What if I had not been in the conference center room in Georgia to watch a shift in policy that removed a roadblock for the LGBT faithful to live into the people God may be calling them to be (talk about a moment of seeing goodness of the Lord in the land of the living!). What if I resisted the command to "Show up!" and remained estranged from the Episcopal Church, in general, and St. John's, in specific?
The next verse comes quickly to answer the answers I have for the above "what ifs"; the answers that I have given that acknowledge that I have seen and tasted the goodness because I followed. And because I followed, I am beckoned to keep going. "O tarry and await the Lord's pleasure," for me means, "Stay with this path and don't attempt to run into the woods and hide." Next: "be strong, and he shall comfort your heart." I think about how terrified I can be to make any move that might take me out of what I consider to be my comfort zone, and what is familiar. And yet, I have made bold moves before: coming out as a lesbian, or leaving public radio to pursue a career as a massage therapist. But am I able to do it again? "Be strong... he shall comfort your heart... wait patiently for the Lord." That last bit is the nagging reminder that I can get through all of this, but only if I stop thinking, and start listening for God (like doing centering prayer...).
I also heard God speaking to me this week during Morning Prayer. There were actually two psalms assigned for Tuesday; we typically read only one of them. On this day, our prayer leader skipped both of them by mistake, so I opened the book and read them to myself. It was Psalm 62 that got me with it's repeated refrain:
For God alone my soul in silence waits;
truly, my hope is in him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
so that I shall not be shaken.
If this is true of me, and I believe it is, then what needs to happen is for my brain to quit raising a ruckus of questions and doubts and allow my soul (or my heart) the stillness of silence to wait for God. It's not that questioning isn't a good thing, but in my case it can become an endless loop that doesn't serve any other purpose but to keep me spinning in place.
What would it be to truly, really put my hope in God?