“Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord. Lord hear my voice! I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning, more than those who watch for the morning.” Verses 1-2a, 5-6.
I felt drawn to this Psalm this morning. There is SO much going on in the world. Covid continues, wildfires, so much bad climate news, Afghanistan, earthquake in Haiti, flooding in TN, and the list goes on and on. Then there are the personal stories of new cancer diagnoses, losing loved ones, and other heartbreaks my friends and family are facing. Sometimes it all feels like a lot.
A few years ago I was able to take the Enneagram and participate in a training. I learned that I am a 4w5, the Individualist + Investigator, sometimes referred to as “the free spirit.” Part of the strength of being a 4 is being comfortable with the entire spectrum of emotions. If you need someone to sit with you in your pain, I am your girl. However, a 4’s sensitivty can also be overwhelming, and it is easy to get lost within our own self and be self-absorbed.
It is easy for me to get overwhelmed with my feelings. I rarely watch the news except for the weather. I read it on my phone, and that seems more palatable than seeing images. Still, I easily let myself sink into despair.
The opposite of despair is not happiness, but hope. Sometimes I am afraid to hope. I don’t trust it. However, I trust God, and my hope is in the Lord. It is not a Pollyanna optimism. It is not a blind trust that means I can go back to being self-absorbed and enjoying all my privileges. It is a hope that stems from my belief that humans were created in God’s image and good. That we will unite to do the right thing. That one small step of action on my part is something I can do to be proactive and is worth the time and effort.
However, Covid has also shown me “total depravity” side of the human spirit. We can be selfish, mean, and uncaring. We do not love our neighbor the way God intended. We care more about our own personal comfort than others. We do not want to give up one bit of our own comfort or pleasure. We are so afraid of losing something, that we are rigid and lack compassion for other’s needs or strife. If we are ok with how things are, or we have suffered and come out on top, we expect others will be able to do the same. We lack imagination to put ourselves in others’ places. Or worse, we do not want to imagine, and expect that they have the same advantages and opportunities that we have.
I hope in the Lord. But I am not making any vacation plans, because I don’t want to be sad again when we cancel them. I hope in the Lord, but I also try to read perspectives different from my own. (Normally, I would advise meeting others, but I am extra cautious about that in light of Covid). I hope in the Lord, and I am trying to stop using single-use plastics. It is harder than I thought it would be. I hope in the Lord, and I am hoping to learn more about the Afghans who will be coming to Minnesota and ways I can help. I hope in the Lord, and I wear my mask.
Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord.