Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long.
Fully vaccinated, we recently journeyed to Arizona. The sounds and sights contrast greatly with Minnesota. At least in the Phoenix area. It is warmer, of course. Hotter. The green found in the winter months becomes browner and dryer in April. Instead of tulips up from the cool soil, there are flowers bursting from the cactus. Sweaters and light jackets worn in the early morning hours are soon shed to sleeveless shirts and shorts. The hum of air conditioning grows louder as daylight lengthens.
There are also those things that are constant. Birds call to each other as they do Minnesota. Varying songs give the same sense there is need of company with each other. I love that. Fellowship and relationship is the same wherever we live. Whoever we are. Whatever we are. We are meant to come together.
Time away from the usual routine of life and work has been refreshing for me this spring. I have enjoyed being with old friends hiking and biking, eating and laughing. We reminisce and wonder about our futures. We enjoy this communion that God wants us to have.
At the same time, we look for respite, life around us keeps on beating. Masks worn and not worn. Politics stirred up. And there are the shootings. Too many shootings. Difficult health diagnoses become apparent. It is hard to not feel weary. There is no escaping life.
What does God say to us in these moments? I do believe we need to listen.
Psalm 23 is one of those Psalms that does not change whether we are near the Grand Canyon or on the streets of Minneapolis. That song is sung for all of us anywhere and anytime.
Read Psalm 23. Out loud. Sing it! Read it many times in one sitting. Read it daily. Breathe into it. God wants us to know of still waters and deep peace. God wants us to know of God’s presence in those moments we feel we are in the midst of our enemies. God wants us to heal. And, God wants for us to know we are never far from God.
We are all God’s children meant to be in company with God and with one another. That is constant. We are all loved by God. That is unchanging. Anywhere and everywhere. For everyone. Knowing this may help in the healing.