I have never been more at odds with the timbre of our national voice than I am now. Fortunately, the regular reading of the psalms is helping me accept and even express the myriad feelings that are welling up with distressing regularity. Yet, the psalms do much more than just help us express our anger and dismay; they continually lead us back to God. There, we find our strength and suppleness to continue the work we are called to do while being reminded to seek the sustaining wellsprings of joy in our journey.
"Why do you boast, O mighty one,
of mischief done against the godly?
All day long you are plotting destruction.
Your tongue is like a sharp razor,
you worker of treachery.
You love evil more than good,
and lying more than speaking the truth.
You love all words that devour,
O deceitful tongue.
But God will break you down forever;
he will snatch and tear you from your tent;
he will uproot you
from the land of the living.
But I am like a green olive tree
in the house of God.
I trust in the steadfast love of God
forever and ever.
I will thank you forever,
because of what you have done.
In the presence of the faithful
I will proclaim your name, for it is good."
Psalm 52: 1-1-5, 8-9 NRSV
In this psalm the selah break helps to redirect us.
I do not have a picture of an olive tree, but this tree has always been a good neighbor, regardless of the season.
"Try to feel the need for prayer often during the day, and take the trouble to pray. Prayer makes the heart large enough until it can contain God’s gift of himself. Ask and seek, and your heart will grow big enough to receive him, and keep him as your own."
Mother Teresa, Simple Gifts, from Plough, Daily Dig, August 27, 2017