One of the Psalms I used this morning for prayers was Psalm 66:4
“Come now and see the works of God, how wonderful he is in his doing toward all people.”
It is obviously an invitational Psalm. Come and see! Behold! As I prayed it over and over, I found myself deeply struggling with the phrase, “…all people.”
- Struggling with myself, with my overcharged emotions and reactivity. Yesterday was a mixed up day for me with a roller coaster of emotional highs and lows, one in which I found out someone was spreading malicious and hurtful rumors about me. This is someone who has never even met me.
- Struggling with how stuff like this makes me want to return the treatment I am getting with like treatment. An eye for an eye…quid pro quo. Frustrated that after years of attempting to make my first reaction, non-reaction that I still want to lash back when hurt.
- Struggling with the anger and violence in the world. Watching what is unfolding in Baltimore, the latest of upheaval like incidences where standing at a distance confuses and makes me literally weep.
- Struggling with people who are ok with violence, as long as it is not perpetrated toward them. Then they speak up. I posted on FB last night… If you are only calling for non-violence now that there are riots, you are sadly late to the game.
- Struggling with the thousands of people who lost their lives in Nepal this last week in a horrific earthquake. Over 3000 were lost and the number continues to rise.
Honestly, I felt like I could barely will the phrase past my lips, “Behold how wonderful God is in his doing toward all people,” let alone pray it.
As I continued to pray though, my mind found its way to a young 5th grader who wandered into our service on Sunday. He is a kid from the neighborhood. When he realized that we were a church, he innocently asked one of the folks from Immanuel if he could go home and get his sister, which he did.
- I “beheld” as he watchfully joined in our worshiping community with interest and curiosity.
- I “beheld” as he sat with John, one of the leaders from YFC during communion…as John patiently explained the Gospel in the sacrament as he watched each person go forward to participate… “This is Christ broken body, this is His spilled out blood for you.”
- I “beheld” God’s wonderful doing as he came forward and joined in himself.
- I “beheld” God’s wonderful doing as both of us played Foosball after the service and our communal meal in which predictably I playfully talked trash and he beat me and we crossed the boundaries of age and race and became friends.
As I allowed my soul to exhale from all the troubles of the world and allowed it to reside in the beauty of the one, I actually felt the muscles in my body relax and my heart rise. I felt myself release the surplus of frustration and finally join the Psalmist in his invitation, “Come now and see the works of God, how wonderful he is in his doing toward all people.”
After all, it is the Fourth Week of Easter!