There is a growing disconnect between what’s on the news (alarming, irritating and mind-numbing) and what is on my heart. Like a miracle tonic is the soul-rest I take in from little sure things now: like sunlight, and birdsong, like seeds sprouting and yeast working. And sure things are not all sweet. The words of the prophets give me warning and set me straight when all else is failing. There is, I am experiencing, a better place of peace than the typical two options we are seeing displayed otherwise, and everywhere. You see either:
- Angry-at-this-world revolution, whether left or right, there’s a lot of this.
- Removal in self-placating denial, or just plain helplessness.
I am observing it all, pondering. My anger has gotten me nowhere (the advantage of years can teach) and helplessness is just a black hole of another name. Denial is a drug that doesn’t work. I am having to look in earnest at a different option. You can too.
Start here: Psalm 19.
The Psalms are each an emotional journaling of a God-seeker. They are honest, some are angry, none are the words of pretenders. In this one, the writer is himself looking out at what is sure. He has to look beyond himself to do that. Like a standing rider in a fast moving train, he has to grab the hand pull.
The writer speaks of the outpouring that is continually available, day and night, there for the reaching.
Then in the second section of this poetic expression, he elaborates on the source of this outpouring and what God’s provision can do in the soul. This is sure for any who will take it in. This is available now. This is pouring into our world at the same time that the other junk we have to deal with is all around us. You still have a choice.
I illustrate this today with a piece I made some years ago. If you wanted to own this you would have to pay me a lot of money, and the work would need to be hand delivered for it is encaustic wax. But you can see and ponder it here for free. It is a response to Psalm 19’s declaration of the outpouring into our ground. I think it is a masterpiece, “after the Master” who said he was doing this communication into our broken places freely “day to day” and “night to night” Such an idea calms my anger, and awakens my dulled spirit. That’s what the truth does, it breaks in. George Orwell observed in another difficult time that “During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” And so it is.