"You are a hiding place for me;
you keep me safe from distress."
The Ecumenical Grail Psalter
The end of the month is often a quiet time for me and I am grateful. I recently became so engrossed in tending to my garden that I lost track of time, enough so that I almost forgot my dentist appointment. It is a gift to be able to go to the dentist relaxed, and probably made for an easier time for the whole office.
Brother Victor often writes of finding contentment in the garden. In his July 30 entry, he writes, "Contentment and serenity go hand in had to make us feel as if time has disappeared. This is a paradox, for in one way we are rooted and grounded in time, yet as we begin to experience something of the eternal, we sense that time and all earthly realities have been transcended...Contentment grants us the freedom to be totally absorbed in whatever we are involved at that moment, be it prayer, work, reading, cleaning, making music, writing, gardening, cooking, or any other creative activity. This absorption renders us unaware of the hours, days, or months. It transcends time and finds its rest in eternity."
While Psalm 32 does not mention gardens or contentment, it is a psalm of instruction about the blessings that can be found when we ask for forgiveness. I have recently completed the order of worship for a Presbyterian service I will be leading on August 13th. It has been a blessing for me to return to the writing the prayers of confession and assurance of pardon. I always miss this tradition in communal worship - the confession of where we have fallen short as children of God, and the assurance that no matter what, that love is never taken from us.
We too often overlook the blessings that are always present. We do not have to search for them or work for them, but rather simply make room for them. Our lives then become our temple, highly visible, but yet also a sacred" hiding place" where God abides.
May this last day of July bring you an unburdened spirit and much contentment.