Today's Lectionary Text
Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord.
If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
I wait for the Lord; my soul waits,
O Israel, hope in the Lord!
There are definitely times I have gone to the Lord in prayer without words to say. Often, it has been the result of some brokenness in my life. When that’s happened, I have not only been reminded of the words of the psalmist, I’ve also felt them as I “cry out to God from the depths of my life.”
The worst brokenness I’ve ever felt was not my brokenness, though, and it was not the brokenness I’ve felt in others when they’ve cried out from the depths of their lives. The worst brokenness I’ve felt has been when my brokenness wounded other people. I’ve never intentionally hurt anyone, but when I haven’t sufficiently healed, my unhealed brokenness almost always ends up getting projected onto others. Those are bottoming occasions for me. On those bottoming occasions I find myself baffled by how much God’s healing grace happens best when I let the bottoming occasions humble me. Healing happens through humility.
One particular occasion I recall is when I was confronted by someone I love dearly about something I’d done. The anxiety and hurt I felt from them helped me understand the hurt and anxiety I’d unknowingly and unintentionally inflicted. The only way I could go to sleep that night was to surrender it to God’s care. As I prayed, I felt an assuring presence say to me, “Mark, I’ve got your back. Be still. Be.” When I woke the next morning and prayed before getting out of bed, remembering what I’d been told the night before, I felt an assuring presence remind me, “Mark, I’ve got your back. Be still. Be.” With that I chuckled, remembering how my seminary New Testament professor used to tell my classmates and I, “If it’s repeated, it must be important.”
So, the psalmist was onto something. Wait for the Lord. God’s faithful love always redeems. What’s necessary is to know God’s got your back. All you or I have to remind ourselves is “Be still” or simply just, “Be.”
--Rev. Dr. Mark Crist
Holdrege First UMC
Prayer for Reflection
Gracious Loving Mystery: Time and time again you remind me of your presence. When I find myself at my worst, you’ve helped me to turn to you so that from the depths, you’ll hear my cries. As your faithful love redeems me, may I embrace the blessed joy both of your presence and carry forward what you are trying to teach me every night and every day. Amen.
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