Beautiful ashes, scattering about on the early morning breeze; A solemn frigid welcome is what was expected, An overcast sky and a lingering dawn. It is a new day but night seems to persist; Each season seemingly more turbulent than the last. Persistent night, made bearable only by merciful flashes of Light.
Who knew that a sound Could be so loud as to echo into eternity? It was the sound accompanying the event That sent ripples through time – forward and backward. An event beyond the confines of time and space, Its echoes preceding it – promising its sure occurrence. Echoes forcefully sustained by a universe unwilling to forget.
King David is arguably the most beloved king of Israel. Besides being a king, his songs and psalms have had great impact far beyond his time. Myself and many others have identified with and found solace in his expressive demonstrations of love and faith even in the midst of hardships and doubts. In this psalm, this beloved king declares a blessing over his people in word and song. Words of encouragement and faith in times and seasons of trouble and unrest. We may not have leaders today as beloved and as attuned to the plight of their people as David was, but we can still identify with and find solace in his benediction to his people. As leaders in our homes, families, communities and organizations, let us take some cues from his rule-book, and be sources of encouragement, hope, and blessings for those placed under our care. There are better days ahead.
Join me on a journey back through time, Way before the episode at Lazarus’ tomb, Very close to the beginning of a beautiful story, In the perfect garden, where all things should have been rosy, Love wept…unseen, unheard, unconsoled.
In the face of betrayal and death; At the pain and thought of losing What He’d literally invested Himself into; Love wept…bloody tears, to make room for Hope.
In times of loss and pain, I’m reminded of hymns like: “Be still my soul, the Lord is on thy side…”; But how does God console Himself? “Be still my soul, the Lord is on thy side…”? One ordinary-seeming day, Love wept…unshed tears.
Tell me that it’s easy, To rise up each morning at the break of dawn To set your knees in that spot in the mat With the perfect grooves made from wear; A testament to the consistency with which they carry The weight of your desperation and dreams.
Tell me how you’ve gotten used to the familiar aches – The pain of the strain of holding a position That under different circumstances would be called corporal punishment; Hands clasped underneath chin, Elbows scraping the edge of the bed… But none of these compare to the aches That rampage in places the eye cannot see; None of these compare to the screams that no ear hears – None, except One.
There’s a song furnished in my heart this dawn; It is a song of pain and tragedy; It is a song of unfailing and faithful love; It is a song both marred and perfected In my lack of complete understanding and full appreciation. It is an old song, but seems new every morning; It carries the weight of hope and is full of promises and possibilities. It promises such great things and calls for me to be bold and courageous; It calls for me to step out in faith and complete trust.
Have mercy on me, Father, according to Your loving kindness. According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions (they are so many that I lost count.) I am in need of a thorough washing from iniquity and a complete cleansing from my sin. Lord, I am confronted by the gravity of my misdeeds, and my sin continually stares me in the face. Against You, and You only, have I sinned, and done that which is evil in Your sight. Your holiness demands a righteous judgement, and no one can reasonably claim my sentence unjust. I plead guilty to every charge You lay against me, Lord, but I plead that You remember that I was born in iniquity – conceived in sin. My most base nature is contrary to Your desire for truth in the inward parts. But You have taught me wisdom in the depths of my heart – the conviction of conscience that cannot be shaken.
Father, say the word, and I will be free of the heavy weight of guilt hanging over my head. Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow – free of the shame and filth that clothes me. Let Your love that shines forth within Your verdict bring joy and gladness to my soul, that the pain I suffer because of my punishment be overrun with rejoicing.
Father, You have searched me, and You know me – even better than I know myself. You know my sitting down and my rising up. You perceive my thoughts long before they are formed within me. You search out my path, even to where I lay my head to rest; there is no part of my life’s journey that is obscured from You. No word has reached my tongue that You didn’t already know about. You hem me in behind and before; and You have laid Your hand on me. You give me knowledge of things beyond me, lofty things that I cannot attain.
Is there a place that Your Spirit cannot reach? Is it possible for me to escape Your presence? If I were to ascend to heaven, that is Your throne and You would be there; but even if I were to make my bed in the depths of Sheol, I would not be beyond Your piercing gaze. If I take the wings of the dawn, and settle in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand will lead me, and Your right hand will hold me.