Wednesday of Holy Week, Year A: Psalm 70
70:1 Be pleased, O God, to deliver me. O LORD, make haste to help me!
70:2 Let those be put to shame and confusion who seek my life. Let those be turned back and brought to dishonor who desire to hurt me.
70:3 Let those who say, "Aha, Aha!" turn back because of their shame.
70:4 Let all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you. Let those who love your salvation say evermore, "God is great!"
70:5 But I am poor and needy; hasten to me, O God! You are my help and my deliverer; O LORD, do not delay!
A favorite game of my children is “the screaming game”. One of them will start by screeching loudly, and no matter where the other is in the house they will hear and screech back. Like some sort of Marco polo call and response theirs is a song of their own. Though it starts out painfully loud and annoying it always turns into something much more beautiful. After the first set of screeches, once they make either physical or eye contact the giggling and laughing begins, and before you know it they are rolling on the floor together amidst a ball of cuddling chaos. What is so profound is the way in which they are able to be completely present and connected to their emotions. First, the wide-open release of their balled up energy as they raise their squealing voices. Next, they are fully committed to the physical responses that joy and laughter bring, the need to reach out and touch, to hold, to roll around on the floor lost in the depths of joy’s well. Finally, their giggling songs tell a story. They neither compete for the airspace, screaming or laughing over one another, but sing the next note either complementing or blessing in unison what has just been offered up. Such joy!
As I reflect on the Day’s Psalm what strikes me most is the commitment of the Psalmist to her emotions, her deep self. Neither does she dismiss her need for an avenger nor does she shy away from demanding such from her God, her Lord, her deliverer. Each verse of her life includes an exclamation point! She is not afraid to ask for what she wants, for what she needs—from God. She too is fully present and committed to the moments, however fraught with fear, or exuding with joy they may be.
As we make this Holy Week journey together, I pray that you too will know what it is that you need and that you will begin by calling upon the Spirit for help. What or who is it that you fear? Name it, and then pray down fear. Celebrate the village of sacred souls that surrounds you; and give praise for the light of God in their lives; in your life! And then, remind God, again, to come near.
May the Spirit of love and light be present for you in these Holy days,