Reflectionary, The Words of Her Mouth

Hebrew uncertain

“The wicked rod won’t remain in the land given to the righteous so that they don’t use their hands to do anything wrong.” Psalm 125:3, CEB

A footnote, the letter “q,” directs me to the bottom margin for further explanation.

“Heb(rew) uncertain,” I read.

The meaning sometimes seems obvious to me, but I remind myself, “you bring your context to every verse you read.” 

Who’s to say what it means for our hearts to be right?  Who among us gets to say?

Uncertain.

I hold onto this: 

God is close by, protecting us; God will not abandon us to the rule of the wicked, or even to the tempting tools the wicked use.

What rod tempts us?

Take it away, O God. Take it away. 

The Words of Her Mouth

Other people’s anger

Blessed be the Lord,
who has not given us
as prey to their teeth.

Psalm 124:6, NRSV

Lord, O, Lord!

Other people’s anger is nothing new,
and never seems to go away.
Ancient people felt chewed up by their enemies,
just the way we do today;
set up, persecuted, threatened
there are times when we rightly feel like prey.

(Church. Oh, Church.)

In the immortal words of noted theologian
Taylor Swift,
“Haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate,”
and sometimes I shake it off
the way my mother said to
when I scraped my knee.

But what I want to know, dear God, is this:

How can we not just shake it off,
or fight back in kind,
but make it better?


Cross-posted at RevGalBlogPals.

The Words of Her Mouth

More than enough

IMG_2812We’ve had more than enough mockery from the self-confident,
    more than enough shame from the proud. Psalm 123:4, CEB

How do we keep faith when we are persecuted in your name?
We keep our eyes on you.
We live our lives for you.

We are not waiting for your mercy; we trust we have it.

When earthly powers claim you, claim your authority, but act without love, we know better.

You are more than enough; we keep our eyes on you.

The Words of Her Mouth

I was glad

I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord. – Psalm 122:1, KJV

I was glad to put on
my patent leather shoes, O God,
and go to your house,
where I sat in a little chair
and learned that Jesus loved me,
that you love everyone.

I kept going to your house,
gladly,
but I began to notice
how some people wanted
to close the doors,
to keep your house
to themselves.

Yet your love for all
is in the world,
is in the Word.

I dream of the day
when all your holy places
are like the hoped-for city
where all people will gather.

I will be glad to go there.

The Words of Her Mouth

Written on a napkin

The Lord will keep
    your going out and your coming in
    from this time on and forevermore.
– Psalm 121:8, NRSV

I reversed the words
As a show of confidence
In God
In my love
In my life:
“The Lord will keep
Your coming out and your going in
From this time on and forevermore.” 

The Words of Her Mouth

(parenthetical)

I cried out to the Lord when I was in trouble
    (and he answered me)
 – Psalm 120:1, CEB

When God appears in parentheses 
may I safely assume
(or have I taken God for granted)
She is there between the words –
dwelling in the subtext –
(does He sub-tweet?)
layered in the lines
of my life
(did They answer me)?

Knit Without Ceasing

Something Beautiful

Various knitters and their Carbeths, including my friend, the Rev. Stacey Simpson Duke, bottom left.

I follow a lot of knitters and yarn dyers and pattern creators on Instagram, and sometimes I will see a sweater in progress and click on a hashtag to see other knitters’ versions of the pattern. I enjoy investigating what kinds of yarn they are using and seeing the variations of colors. Often I navigate to Ravelry and look at the pattern, and I might even do the math on a yarn purchase, but I never actually make a sweater. I tell myself, knitting for others is more satisfying (it’s true I love to knit for others), or you know you prefer to knit socks because they are so portable (also true, they really are), and sweaters are *so* complicated (which, usually, is also the truth, but I know knitters who would gladly advise me), and there are more excuses available, but when I see my friends in their sweaters, I kind of wish I were among them, banging out a Carbeth or whatever the sweater of the moment might be. 

Here’s the truth that has mattered the most. What stops me from knitting one of these sweaters myself is seeing them on people who don’t look like me. The patterns may come in a range of sizes, but it’s hard to imagine what they would look like on me, since I am short and round.

This is the body I have.

And I wonder if knitting a sweater for the body I have might not be exactly the right project for what I am calling The Year of the Body? So I am going to go back to scrolling Instagram, but this year, I’m going to give it a try, and pick out a pattern and colors and yarn I love, ask for help if I need it, and make something beautiful for me. 

What are you going to do for yourself and your body in 2019?