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July 24, 2012

The Prayer of the Troubled Heart

Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer.  From the end of the earth I call to you, when my heart is faint.  Lead me to the rock that is higher than I; for you are my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.  Let me abide in your tent forever, find refuge under the shelter of your wings. 

                                    Psalm 61:1-4              The Prayer of the Troubled Heart

 

When pushed to its limits physically the body needs care.  It needs water, shelter from the elements beating down on it, a place to recline, and replenishing nourishment. This “body” includes the soul.  The soul being the body’s more mysterious, meta-physical place of belief, trust, and faith.  And, it seems, this week that our souls are thirsty.  The dwelling place of faith within us, needs a drink.  It needs shelter; it needs to replenish itself with God’s goodness.  Because … because our human frailty has caused so much damage.  Particularly, it seems, in the last few days.  While summer continues to roll on this day, our “body” has been pushed to the limit.  Overexertion, trauma, soul sickness, shame, the lingering effects of crime, hate, secrets and mental illness.  It feels strange to say this, to write about it, actually.  It feels strange because, in our world, the world of the average, US Christian, going about our lives, work and summer vacations, it’s difficult to lift up the broken things.  Particularly in the summer, a time, for camp, vacation, bathing in the sun, cold drinks and relaxation.  But, it’s true.  As we go about our day today there is the just awakening trauma of a terrible shooting in Colorado.  As we pack our bags for a trip, there is news of a monumental ruling regarding sexual scandal and abuse at a prominent US university.  And there is more.  Terrible draught.  Ferocious war and civil unrest in Syria.  A cantankerous political campaign.  Heat that seems merciless at moments. 

 

The Prayer of the Troubled Heart is sometimes the “thing” that we need; the source of nourishment.  The divine reminder of God’s longing to be our shelter and NOT our storm.  God’s desire to be a high place, a place of refuge – visible even when we are at the ends of our hope and our understanding of all that surrounds us.  Even when we are the enemy.  God is near, listening to our prayer.  Reminding us that our broken hearts and dissected souls do, indeed, need replenishing.

 

O God, you have heard our cries.  And in hearing these cries you seek to satisfy our thirst!


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