Monday, December 22, 2008

Praise in the Ruins

On Saturday, as Carl and I read our 15 minutes (we're still making our way through Psalms), I was struck by the images of ruin and destruction. In Psalm 51, there is the yearning for the walls of Jerusalem to be rebuilt. In Psalm 53, there's the image of God scattering the bones of the ungodly. The image that made me want to cry most came from Psalm 55, with its extended nightmare vision of the former friend turned enemy.

I'm not sure why those images of destruction (and yearning for wholeness) are the ones that leapt out at me Saturday. I'd had a good day. But always, these days, there's the consciousness of impending ruin, and I'm finding it hard to tune out. Some days, I'm sure that the destruction has already fallen upon our heads. Some days, I'm convinced that we're poking around in the smoking ruins of our society, and we don't even realize it.

But the Psalms show us what to do, even if we are facing the worst-case scenario. We pray for justice, and we pray for those who are hurt. We pray for restoration. We yearn for resurrection, and we demand that God listen.

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