from Kelly Williamson
Two passages stuck out to me while reading the Psalms for today. The first being Psalm 24:1-2:
"The earth is the Lord's and all that fills it,
the world and those who dwell therein,
for he has founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers."
I think the first stood out in light of the climate crisis town hall that the Democratic presidential candidates spoke at recently and in light of a book I've recently begun reading called The Overstory, whose main characters are, arguably, trees. Its jacket cover states its "a sweeping, impassioned work of activism and resistance that is also a stunning evocation of - and paean to - the natural world." (if you had to Google what paean means, so did I!)
The second being the refrain occurring in Psalm 24: 7 and 24:9:
"Lift up your heads, O gates!
And be lifted up, O ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in."
The second stood out, because our son recently learned to tilt his head back during bath time to have the shampoo rinsed out of his head. For months, I tried to tell him to "put your head back" or "tilt your chin up' but nothing got through to him. However, I recently unlocked the magic words - "look up to the ceiling". Its revolutionized bath time. Before this, he would cry during the hair-rinsing portion of his bath as water poured down his not-tilted-back face. Now he gets it. He smiles and lifts up his head. He enjoys having the soap washed out of his hair.
How are these two passages connected? I don't know, maybe they're not. But I do think God lays His words on our heart in specific ways at specific times, so maybe they are connected! The first passage gives me deep discomfort with the state of God's natural creation, the ways in which humans have not been good stewards of His works, how we've taken it from the Lord - what is His creation - and exploited it for our own gain. The second gives me great encouragement that by lifting up my head, goodness shall follow, just as Malachi has learned during bath time. As the passage directly preceding this refrain suggests, when "you seek the face of the God of Jacob" and lift up your head to seek Him, you will receive blessing from the Lord (v. 5) and the King of glory may enter.
So how do I lift up my head in the context of the earth and all that fills it? And when I do, am I doing so seeking the face of the God of Jacob, expecting to be met with blessing from the Lord, expecting God to more fully enter my life in the context of where I've lifted my head?
Psalm 27:13-14 provides encouragement on this front."I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living!Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!"
God will restore the brokenness in our relationship with His creation and I will see the fullness of his works in the land of the living. I can lift up my head and meet the challenges of today's climate crisis, knowing that I can take action to rebuild God's kingdom now, knowing that by lifting my head I'll be inviting God into the discomfort I feel, knowing that with patience I will revel in the fullness of His creation when the Lord's reconciling work is complete here on earth, our physical earth.
I'm a dancer turned tax attorney, recent Davis Square resident, mother to bath-loving Malachi and a new yet-to-be-named (or born) baby, an ENFJ and Enneagram 3 (probably with a 4-wing, given I'm a dancer turned tax attorney...) and I'm unapologetic for liking things like the Enneagram types and Love Languages to understand people better.