Lenten Scripture Reflection | Thursday: Psalms 63-64; Malachi 3.6-15; Mark 12.13-34

From: Catherine Con

”O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water." Ps. 63:1

I think of how David wrote these words while wandering in a wild and desolate place, his body weak, his enemies at his back.  Despite all that, I’m envious.  David got to write poetry to God while roaming the wilderness of Judah; I write while wearing a T-shirt that says writer, drinking tea from a mug that says I'm writing Please go away.

David’s complete reliance on God was so clear-- and so clearly necessary.  I’m ashamed when I think of how I often approach Him: as a means of fulfillment, joy, community, meaning.  None of those are bad, but David’s verbs show such intense longing and dependence: seek, thirst, faint, cling.  I mean, whoa, does my flesh faint for God?      

Mark encouraged us to memorize this Psalm a while back, so I’ve been committing it to memory during Lent.  In doing so, I’ve come to realize that we live in a dry and weary land after all.  Our hearts are heavy with loneliness, questions, desire, uncertainty, grief, suffering, pain.  And we seek and thirst for so many things--things that, without God, leave us empty.  How much more desperately do we need Him in our lives of relative comfort, where it's easy to neglect our souls, easy to turn to self-reliance and counterfeit promises of satisfaction.  So this Psalm has, time and again, turned me toward the one I truly and deeply desire, the only one who can satisfy our souls: God Himself. 

This semester I've been teaching fiction writing at BU and reading Psalms / eating 'za (Pzalms, anyone?) with InterVarsity students.