Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Calm Pslamversation

In the Psalms, I sometimes get confused if I am the righteous or the wicked. I like to believe that—like David, the psalmist of Psalm 52—I am

like the olive tree
flourishing in the house of God
                                                                        and that
I trust in God’s unfailing love
for ever and ever.

But the next words cut me out of the righteous category.

I will praise you forever for what you have done.

To be clear, I certainly want to be the kind of person who, for the rest of my life and through every circumstance, will praise God for his actions. But I know perfectly well this is not the case. Often God’s actions have caused me to pause and life my eyes skyward. Instead of raising a hand in supplication or wonder, I raise my eyebrows and think “wtf?” with all the multitude of disdain available to an arrogant youngster.

If that weren’t damning enough, the first 2/3rds of the psalm certainly have me covered.

Why you boast of evil? David asks me.
Why do you boast all day long
you, who are a disgrace in the eyes of God?

Because it’s I like one-upping. I’m proud of my abilities in communication and I feel more comfortable if I can come up with a lie that will protect me from others knowing the full truth of who I am, what I want and what I do. Why, do you like people knowing how awful you really are, David? *coughBathshebacough* Me neither.

No, I wouldn’t say that

my tongue plots destruction

…unless maybe the destruction of truth or sometimes, when I’m really, really mad, the destruction of someone’s self-esteem. Then, perhaps

My tongue is like a sharpened razor   (cool!)
and I practice deceit                like a boss. Like it’s my job. You know Meg Ryan’s character in You’ve Got Mail who always wishes she could think of the mean thing to say, wishes she had the perfect comeback like Tom Hanks does? That’s me—the Tom Hanks character, I mean. I have the comeback ready and waiting for someone to set it off.
She's way too cute for him. Seriously. That's one of my
biggest beefs with the movie.

What’s that you say?

I love evil rather than good?
falsehood rather than speaking the truth?

Maybe, well, maybe a little bit. All right, I do. I do

love every harmful word.

 I confess it.

So now what? Will God surely
bring me down to everlasting ruin?
will he              snatch me up and tear me from my bed?
will he             uproot me from the land of the living?

Then will the righteous—of whom I think we can be sure now that I am not—see and fear and laugh and say

here is the woman who did not make God her stronghold but grew strong by destroying others?

Or can I be like the olive tree, please? Like David? Like Jesus? Or maybe not even the tree—let me be only a branch. With many twigs, many days, many seasons, I will show that You abide in me and I abide in you. And I will bear much fruit, for apart from you\ I can do nothing.

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