a morning reflection after another watchnight of weeping

I yearn for order, stability, tranquility. In the world. In my life. I despise disorder, chaos and confusion. Yet, through news from far and near, sorrow beyond the pale constantly breaks through the feeble barriers I erect against the bedlam I perceive within existence and within me.

The songs of the Hebrew scripture offer words when I groan with inarticulable sighs. I oft begin my day softly repeating the hungering anticipation of Psalm 42:

As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God.

My soul thirsts for the living God. When shall I behold your face?

My tears have been my food day and night, while many say, “Where is your God?”

Why, O my soul, are you cast down and disquieted within me?

I will hope in God, again praising the One who is my help and my God.

This morning, declaring my helplessness, my hopelessness, my aloneness apart from an absent God, I angrily, arrogantly dared to utter the words of Psalm 13, an individual prayer, on behalf of the whole creation:

How long, O God, will you forget us forever? How long will you hide your face?

How long must we bear pain in our souls and sorrow in our hearts all day long?

Answer us, O God! Give light to our eyes or we will sleep as in death.

Suddenly, wholly unforeseen and unbidden (for I confess I had not the wisdom to ask or the humility to listen, for my prayer was a rant), dawned a glimmer of expectancy. On reflection, this inchoate, but no less sure sense of the restoration of hope is the fruit of an honest expression of powerlessness in the face of my anguish and, thus, the humbling necessity (no matter what I, in my best mind and heart, want, when or how) of having to wait for help.

It was enough for me to say, again, in the language of Psalm 13: O my God, I do trust your steadfast love…and I will sing (and continue to pray) to You.

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4 thoughts on “a morning reflection after another watchnight of weeping

  1. Having your commentary during all this is most comforting (if there is such a thing as comfort in this). I’ve just read that the KKK in Missouri is raising money for the officer who shot Michael Brown. Mercy as you would say!! Interestingly, it’s probably not even something the officer himself would want to accept.

    I will continue to hope and pray as well Paul. Psalms can definitely be a great help during times like this. I had forgotten that. Thank you for the reminder and for your words.

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  2. Thank you, Loretta. (For some odd reason, I’m only now seeing your comment.) I appreciate that you find comfort in my words. Heaven knows I’ve been wrestling with my thoughts and emotions and, per my norm, seeking words to make sense of what I think and feel. And, yes, Psalms is a wondrous treasure trove for language, especially, for me, of lament, when my spirit is not only heavy laden, but over-laden.

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  3. I’ve found that sometimes, when I am at the very end of myself, when I feel blocked into a corner with nowhere to go, nowhere to hide, frustrated, scared, and angry, when I dare to raise my fist to God, making demands I certainly know better than to make, the Spirit will come alongside and envelop me with a sense of okay-ness. No earth shattering miracles accompanied by flashes of lightning and rolling thunder, although I’ve known those. Rather, a quiet understanding that somehow God has a finger on whatever horrible thing it is that breaks my heart, and it is, somehow, okay.

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  4. Sandy, beautiful words of a beatific experience. I believe you have captured my sense of the spirit (or, indeed, perhaps Spirit) that enveloped me amidst my Job-like rant to – AT – God. Thank you for sharing this with me.

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