Verse of the day

Actually, psalm of the day would probably be more accurate.  From The Message:

Psalm 51

 1-3Generous in love—God, give grace! Huge in mercy—wipe out my bad record.
   Scrub away my guilt,
      soak out my sins in your laundry.
   I know how bad I’ve been;
      my sins are staring me down.

 4-6 You’re the One I’ve violated, and you’ve seen
      it all, seen the full extent of my evil.
   You have all the facts before you;
      whatever you decide about me is fair.
   I’ve been out of step with you for a long time,
      in the wrong since before I was born.
   What you’re after is truth from the inside out.
      Enter me, then; conceive a new, true life.

 7-15 Soak me in your laundry and I’ll come out clean,
      scrub me and I’ll have a snow-white life.
   Tune me in to foot-tapping songs,
      set these once-broken bones to dancing.
   Don’t look too close for blemishes,
      give me a clean bill of health.
   God, make a fresh start in me,
      shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life.
   Don’t throw me out with the trash,
      or fail to breathe holiness in me.
   Bring me back from gray exile,
      put a fresh wind in my sails!
   Give me a job teaching rebels your ways
      so the lost can find their way home.
   Commute my death sentence, God, my salvation God,
      and I’ll sing anthems to your life-giving ways.
   Unbutton my lips, dear God;
      I’ll let loose with your praise.

 16-17 Going through the motions doesn’t please you,
      a flawless performance is nothing to you.
   I learned God-worship
      when my pride was shattered.
   Heart-shattered lives ready for love
      don’t for a moment escape God’s notice.

 18-19 Make Zion the place you delight in,
      repair Jerusalem’s broken-down walls.
   Then you’ll get real worship from us,
      acts of worship small and large,
   Including all the bulls
      they can heave onto your altar!

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Articulation is…..

So I noticed another problem I have on Saturday night.  In the grand scheme of things, held up to my other quirks and idiosyncracies, this one is probably not as glaring as some, but it was nonetheless something important, I think.  Something I needed to know about myself.

It’s difficult for me to articulate my needs.  Very difficult.  Maybe not so much when it’s something like a pepper shaker, or a glass of water.  But otherwise?  Very difficult, indeed.

There was this meeting for a ministry I’m involved in, and when it came time to talk directly to the leaders about not only their “performance,” but what we’d like to see from the ministry and them, and how we could possibly improve on our own areas that needed improvement, I clammed up for a few minutes.

One of the other team members had spoken shortly before that about asking God for help in improving the ability to deal with conflict in a workplace situation.  That was like a light going on in my giant head.  I tried to do that while I was sitting there, and the thought just sort of came to me to “just say it,” as in just say my need.

So I did.  And it was awkward, and it came out a little rough, but it came out.  Whether or not that need is fulfilled by the leaders remains to be seen.  It just made me wonder, though, why it was so tough to tell them (and anyone, for that matter) what I needed, or wanted, or even hoped for.  I don’t know.

Is it because I feel like they weren’t listening, and wouldn’t help me even if they were?  Possibly.  Prior experience with this couple had not left me feeling particularly heard, and being heard is one of my “things.”

But that didn’t feel like all of it.  Is it also because deep down somewhere, I still feel like when I ask someone for something I really, really need, I don’t deserve help?  Maybe some of that, too.

And in that way of thinking, is that something I believe of God as well?  That I don’t deserve his help?  Well, it’s hard to argue the truth of that one–I don’t.  Nobody does.  But isn’t the truth that you don’t help those you love because they deserve to be helped–you help them because you love them.  And if I believe in my heart that I am loved, whether it be by God, or my friends, it should not be so difficult to ask for their prayers, or to tell them what I need from them as friends, or leaders.  It should not be so difficult to articulate me needs to the Lord.

Anyway, I guess it’s a lot of things.  It gives me plenty to pray about, for sure.  And it lets me know where a few more places are I need God’s light shed on, places that are in need of healing.  So I guess it’s good I went to that meeting–I didn’t want to.  My first instinct was to say “screw it,” and walk away….