Psalm 7 - One A Week Psalm Project
One A Week Psalm Project
Already but not yet
Present but not yet fully here.
The back and forth of this psalm feels difficult. It swings between ‘I’m unworthy’ to ‘declare my honour & righteousness’. Yet another indication of living in a world where the kingdom of God is both here & yet not fully present.
There are many times when I feel self-righteous and want to say ‘Judge me according to my righteousness’ and I reckon I’ll come off ok. But there are just as many where I am fully aware that God is one who ‘sharpens his sword’ and I am sure to feel the full force of it.
But whichever way I am feeling right now doesn’t matter because in the end it is God’s righteousness that matters. God is the one who is righteous, merciful, loving. And we should praise him.
The constant tension that is the Christian faith.
It so often feels as though it is like a “pushmepullyou” (remember those?? Did you read that book??).
Some times it feels as though there are no specific instructions or examples of exactly how to live your life other than the example of a God/man who lived 2000 years ago which sometimes seems unhelpful, & yet at the same time is a perfect demonstration of a guiding light. The blessing & frustration of freewill gives rise to a constant awareness of the kingdom of God being both here & yet not fully here & still to come.
It is within this centrepoint, this middle place, this meeting point that we find God- a God who is both fully here & with us & yet not physically present & so unable to be turned to for verbal answers to our prayers. Instead we find ourselves again, constantly having to be aware & present within this middle place – this place of mixed colours rather than black and white - or black or white – but also this place of vibrant (perhaps too vibrant) colour - of many possibilities because this is where we are meant to be.
A place where we cannot live without consideration, we cannot discard the hard parts of life but must wrestle through them, where we cannot deny our humanity, our fragility, our frailty, our unknowingness, our insecurity or our fear & yet also be fully present to God’s all-knowingness – even though we don’t understand;
fully present to God’s loving-ness – even though we don’t always feel it;
fully present to God’s fully present self – even though so often our ears are too full of our own words to hear anything God might say.
This middle space is a sacred place of difficult decisions, of hard-won joy, of deliberate, wise decision making, of willingness to admit our wrongs, of living acceptance from those whose eyes reflect a familiar experience of pain.
This middle space is:
- a thin space between the here & the not yet fully here.
- a thick space where we daily wade through the intersection of the spiritual & physical.
- a liminal space where just because a decision about one thing has been made, it doesn’t mean the next will be any more obvious or easy.
- a centre space that encompasses the whole of life all thrown together & jumbled about.
This is where we try to live even knowing its difficulties. Yet we are so easily lured by the ease of the black and white, or the black or white.
But we must learn to rest here, in this middle space, for it is here that God so often places a pillow for our head & invites us to rest awhile; even in the midst of everything & anything.
There is joy, contentment, comfort, frustration, and resentment in the repetitiveness of prayer.
This is the first page I’ve made that I actually quite like.
I need to learn how to allow for physical space in the work. The page doesn’t have to be filled up and covered.
I have to fight against the feeling that if it is too easy it isn’t worthwhile. That’s not to say that patience and work aren’t good – but that sometimes, simple is best and is all that is required.
So much of the abstract artwork which I love is as much about the ‘space’ in them as about the marks made.
I have been rubbish at remembering what this psalm is about this week. I still barely remember it and it’s day 7. I’ve done lots of reflecting, quite a bit of praying and meditating, but not much reflecting or learning in this psalm.