I sit at the kitchen table with the window open this morning—let the cool spring breeze and the chatter of the finches ease me into the holy. I have a sermon to write, but the scriptures aren’t speaking. Or maybe I’m not listening.
My boys are off for a service project with their youth group, so I’m home alone but I can’t seem to focus my prayers. I think it’s that special we watched on the History Channel last night—the one on the Hatfields and McCoys. I’ve had trouble shaking the images, all that bloodshed we only read about in West Virginia history class in the 8th grade. Now Devil Anse has the face of Kevin Costner and as the credits rolled last night I wept real tears for real lives lost.
The bad stuff of the world seems too big today and I have to count on the Spirit to intercede with those sighs and groans again. I’m watching the Goldfinches and sipping from my favorite mug—the one Ann gave me—when the handle makes a clean break and the mug falls with a loud clank on the table. My finger is bleeding and there is coffee everywhere and oh, no, not this mug! I feel so sad that the gift is broken and I wonder what kind of silent fissure could have made so clean a break.
So much of the broken is cloaked in silence.
I clean up the mess, wash away blood and think about my friend Linda—what she’s doing to give a voice to some of that brokenness. I pray for it with my heart but I still have no words.
It’s Eugene Peterson who helps. Praying the Psalms—learning their language—is not an option, he says. It’s a mandate.
We need fluency in the language of the country we live in, he says.
Quietly I go to the bookshelf and find my old copy of Psalms for Praying. Lament fills the quiet, names the broken, gives words where there are none.
And through the open window the birds keep chatting. The world keeps spinning. But maybe not as quietly as before.
With my sandy, the