I’ve mentioned it twice in conversations this week. I’ll mention it to you, too.
In the morning, I’m reading through the book of Psalms in a collection that doesn’t have verse numbers or notes, and has the number of the psalm in faint, small print. I want the words of the text to be most visible.
In the middle of Psalm 30, is this phrase: “For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime;“
I need to tell you that I’ve been thinking about the idea of being one mistake away from being fired, one failure away from being forgotten, one wrong share of Facebook from being shunned. Not that I’m in danger of being fired. But my hospital work makes me aware that things can change rapidly, and my observation of Facebook makes me aware that relationships can be destroyed rapidly.
When I read that phrase, I realized that my attention often goes to debates about God’s anger and what that means. This time, in looking at the text, I looked at time. Momentary, lifetime. Anger is momentary. Favor, love, attentiveness, that’s a lifelong thing.
Rather than attending to the next thing that will make God angry and worrying always about that, perhaps the psalmist is inviting us to think about the enduring love and resting in that.
I’m working on another book project. (I know. I just finished one) This is called This is Hard. It started as small book that I could give to people I know who have just lost someone they love. There are some things I say often in my work as a hospital chaplain. When I can’t be with people I care about, I’d love to offer them some of those same things.
As I started writing, I realized that other people may want to know what to say, too. So I want to share this here before I finalize it in print.
If you’d like to read this small book online, here’s the link: This is Hard. Let me know what you think.