The #BigRead13 Day 2
You can find Day 2’s post from the #BigRead13 here.
Today’s Bible post was Psalm 34:18:
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted,
and saves the crushed in spirit.
This verse does chime with me. Over recent years I’ve had my fair share of feeling brokenhearted and/or crushed in spirit. The Psalms seem to help particularly when I do. They work when I’m sitting or lying where I am; they work particularly well when I seek out God in his house – his church. Sitting in the stalls of the Abbey for Evensong; the Harvard Chapel at Southwark Cathedral when I’d been for yet another medical appointment just over the way; perching on a misericord in my old college chapel for Compline by Candlelight after my Granny died.
- Perhaps it is because psalms are full of individual thoughts like this that you can hang on to when you are too troubled to focus on a longer passage?
- Perhaps it is because psalms are like music – even when said rather than sung – the rhythm washes over you?
- Perhaps it is because psalms as comfort is exactly what many of them were for – David’s cry as a troubled soul to his God?
Today’s quote from the Magician’s Nephew equally spoke to me – Aslan crying over Digory’s mother. How can we be good to one another in grief? How do we avoid the awkwardness and let people speak? How do we just be there?
George Herbert’s Love spoke to me today – it is one of my favourite poems, ever. The idea of being brokenhearted, yet Love welcoming you regardless.
Yes. In a week when we think about our own sinfulness, and wonder how God could love us regardless, this poem says it all to me.
Trying out 40 Acts
One of the things that the #BigRead13 is doing is linking to a website called 40 Acts – 40 suggested challenges to act for the 40 days of Lent. I thought I’d have a look at today’s entry which is about Love. I have read the Marriage Book by today’s contributors, but didn’t get that much out of it – I suspect it was the style, rather than the underlying thoughts. Would this be any different?
On St Valentine’s Day, focussing on Love is perhaps obvious. But as I read, I was struck that, whilst the examples were perhaps typical of the love between a husband and wife, on a second read they didn’t have to be. Nor were they the love between other couples in a romantic relationship. No, they were the love that sometimes we all need and all can show. Taking time to make conversation with someone who is lonely or troubled. A hug. A smile even. So today I took the opportunity – no, I wasn’t randomly hugging strangers and colleagues. But I did look out for opportunities to affirm others. To take an interest.
Will I be doing all 40 days? I suspect not – as I spoke about yesterday, I’m trying not to be too “busy”. But will I be diving back in? Yes.