It's been a while since I have written on this blog. I am finishing my dissertation (if you know me well, you may not believe that statement) and have been focusing my efforts elsewhere. But, each fall semester I have the privilege of leading a group of students through the Old Testament. One of the bonus assignments in the class is the writing of a personal Psalm after the lecture on the book. Each student is to write a psalm, label it as a psalm of orientation, disorientation, or new-orientation. Each year, the sharing of personal feelings is intense in the class and I am amazed at the openness in the classroom. This year was no different. However, one of the students who did not share a psalm began to react about half way through the class and I noticed her crying most of the period.
I didn't really acknowledge her reaction, but a few hours after class I received an email from her. She said:
I simply could not read this today. It was so hard for me to be vulnerable in front of the class; I knew I would fall apart. I could not even keep the tears away WITHOUT reading it. So I left it at home and did not even attempt it.
I had no idea a simple exercise could have such an impact...imagine if we took the time to share personal psalms in our small groups or churches. Returning to the student, she attached her psalm to the email and it is below for you to read. It is a psalm of new orientation, one that laments the past, cries out to God for explanation but celebrates God's presence in the face of troubles:
Where were you, God, in all of these struggles?
This was just one of the psalms that students shared, imagine the depths of joy, hurt, and trust that people carry... just waiting to be asked...waiting to be prompted...or perhaps even ignoring it. So, write a psalm and meditate on the presence of God in your life. If you wrote a psalm, what would it say?
I want to share thoughts, insights, and scriptures that lead us in the direction of Christ.