Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will declare what He has done for my soul. Psalm 66:16
I walked down a busy street in the rain to a coffee house to warm my body and settle my soul into a deeper place of peace. The faces I passed on the street were deeply lined; not from weather, but from the hardness of street-life.
The sidewalk is strewn with trash, and cryptic pathways veer into the underbrush by the Walmart that made me wonder if folks might live in those gnarled briars and thorny blackberry bushes. I didn’t go down the path to see. I walked on, in the rain.
There is a layer of my soul inside that feels like the weather outside. Gray.
I was hoe-axed with some challenging personal news today that is making my head spin. Add to that the fact that this has been a tough news cycle and you have the makings of a heavy heart.
People that are important to me are hurting as I sit in this coffee shop and warm up from my soggy walk. I feel weight in my heart for her, him and them. They killed 145 children in Pakistan. They killed 2 in Sydney. They killed 6 in Pennsylvania. They tortured our enemies at CIA “dark sites.”
Pastors I care about are struggling to establish a ecclesiastical beachhead in hostile territory. A godly man of God, who loves Jesus and His kingdom, is scrambling and scuffling to make ends meet—even cleaning toilets in a middle school.
I looked into the pale face of my friend who is struggling with his health and feel my own frailty creeping around.
Nothing is sharp and crisp today. Everything is dull, opaque. The words of one of an old poem by Joseph Bayly plucks just the right cord,
A Psalm In a Hotel Room
I’m alone, Lord,
a thousand miles from home.
There’s no one here who knows my name
except the clerk,
and he spelled it wrong,
no one to eat dinner with,
laugh at my jokes,
listen to my gripes,
be happy with me about what happened today
and say that’s great.
No one cares.
There’s just this lousy bed
and slush in the street outside
between the buildings.
I feel sorry for myself
and I’ve plenty of reason to.
Maybe I ought to say
I’m on top of it,
praise the Lord,
things are great;
but they’re not.
But deeper than this slate-surface on my soul is a deeper in and further down place of joy. A place of surety that no street-side trash, sad world news, gray rain or opaque skies can reach. I am loved by the One who created me.
I am His beloved.
And that is just enough for this gray day.