Reading from scripture is something I have always valued although my consistency wouldn’t prove it to be so. Friday evening brought upon a waning movement for me. As often, with nothing particular in mind to read, I flipped open one of my many Bibles, and landed in Psalms. From my landing point of chapter 84, I bounced through and around to chapter 89 later bouncing about 90 and 91.
Okay, maybe I ought to keep context of the writings in mind, even the order in which the writings flow, but, again, as often happens, I truly do bounce around, taking beautifully written verses and applying them to me; my world. In doing so, they speak to me, in the now; the moment. At times I imagine I am the writer and at others, I am the observer; the reader, and still others I am the subject of the writing. In these various roles I become a loving parent, a tender, nurturing mother; a protective, teaching father, or the innocent or wandering child of such parents. I become the lover who inspires the writer or the writer who speaks of a love.
Chapter 88 is so very sad and dark, which is not a place I was Friday evening, although I have been there before, many times, which allowed me to not only feel, but experience the writer’s deep despair empathizing with him, knowing the place of his heart. “You have put me in the lowest pit in the darkest depths…my eyes are dim with grief…I cry to you for help, O Lord…why do you reject me…”
No, I was not there Friday evening. I was in the opening of chapter 84, “How lovely is your dwelling place…my soul yearns…my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God…better one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere…”
Words continued like this, bouncing from the pages into my head and heart and soul, filling my spirit. I took them to bed with me Friday night and awoke Saturday morning wanting to bounce some more. Another read and I was full of wonderful verses. “Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other…”
Fortified with the wonder of scriptural words I headed out into the amazingly glorious morning. “…God is a sun and shield…no good thing does he withhold from those who walk blameless…(Okay this part, well, I’m not fully blameless but hey, I don’t really walk either)…blessed is the woman who trusts in you.”
Recently, a neighbor had an extra 8’ blue spruce and thoughtfully planted it for me. I had it put on the north side of my property next to two other blue spruces making my evergreen grouping perfect. “The heavens are yours, and also the earth; you founded the world and all that is in it. You created the north and south…”
Saturday provided the perfect morning to make a sacred circle of rocks around the tree just like the circles surrounding the other two. As I hauled and moved rocks from my wheelchair then flopping on the ground to place them, I sang along with my I-Pod, lifting my voice higher with each Contemporary Christian song that shuffled on. I had a captured audience of 3 trees. “I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever…satisfy me in the morning with your unfailing love that I may sing for joy and be glad all my days.”
I couldn’t stop, I didn’t want to stop. I went from placing rocks to pulling weeds, tilling planters, singing, and allowing ancient inspired words to bounce. “May the favor of the Lord rest upon me; establish the work of my hands…teach me your way…give me an undivided heart…I will glorify your name forever, for great is your love toward me…”
Magnificently exhausted, dirty and dusty, I crawled across the grass and lay back next to the sugar pear tree and under the giant cottonwood. I gazed up into the brilliantly blue sky. “The heavens praise your wonders…for who in the skies above can compare…and righteousness looks down from heaven.” I focused on the cottonwood, noticing the new buds on its limbs. I thought of all the wonderful things I would plant in my gardens soon, so very soon, “…faithfulness springs forth from the earth…the Lord will indeed give what is good, and our land will yield its harvest.”
“…I will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. He is my refuge and my fortress, my God…He will cover me with his feathers and under his wings I will find refuge…He will command His angels concerning me to guard me in all my ways…’Because you love me,’ says the Lord…” And thus I have and will continue to do so along this, my 49th year.
note: all scripture from New International Version