“God gives a hand to those down on their luck, gives a fresh to start to those ready to quit.” Psalm 145:14 (The Message Bible)
I’m dog and house sitting for a friend while she attends the wedding of a former student. Her home is planted on twelve acres, shaded by giant oaks, locusts, cottonwoods, and other trees native to Iowa. My soul finds pleasure in the sound of leaves rustling, birds singing, and two dogs wagging their tails.
My friend is in the depth of grief—one might say she’s “down on her luck,” but she wouldn’t accept that as a fact. She knows she’s living the mysteries of life, the good and the bad that no one can explain. She once told me that she has tenacity, which rhymes with elasticity. I believe she can stretch emotionally and retract better than anyone else I know.
As I read Psalm 145 this morning, I thought of my friend as she put aside her grief to enjoy the wedding. Tears will surely surface as she witnesses two people joining their lives together “for better or for worse.” I imagine there will be more tears shed, as she goes back over forty-five years to her own wedding and how unexpectedly the the marriage ended a few weeks ago.
My friend will continue grieving when she returns home. I pray that the rustling of leaves, birds singing, and dogs wagging their tails will bring peace to her soul, too.
Dear Lord, help us listen for signs to let go. Lead us out of our pain and sorrow. Amen