Gladden the soul of your servant, for to you, O LORD, I lift up my soul. Psalm 86:4
Jesus taught us, saying: ‘This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the land. Night and day, while he sleeps, when he is awake, the seed is sprouting and growing; how, he does not know. Of its own accord the land produces first the shoot, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. And when the crop is ready, he loses no time: he starts to reap because the harvest has come.’ Mark 4:26–29
You water the mountains from your dwelling on high; the earth is fully satisfied by the fruit of your works. You make grass grow for flocks and herds and plants to serve mankind; That they may bring forth food from the earth, and wine to gladden our hearts, Oil to make a cheerful countenance, and bread to strengthen the heart. Psalm 13:16
So last night was the first family dinner in a long time. Momma has been out of town and summer has been busy for all of us. But last night we gathered once again, with crackers and cheese and chips and salsa and then the freshly grilled by Tim chickens-on-a-stick kabobs and peanut sauce and rice and salad and of course the homemade bread followed by sweet cake with peaches and frozen yogurt and Tim found a bottle of port hanging around and googled what it was all about and explained to us about the British war against France and the river Douro in northern Portugal and its microclimate that is optimal of the cultivation of olives, almonds and especially grapes. And Brandon and RJ and Tracy and I rode a bus through the seaport of Porto this summer on our way to visit Fernanda.
And life is hard for each of us. Not refugees lining up to flee into Macedonia before Hungary closes its borders hard or even as hard as was for some old guy driving an even older car rumbling and snorting and burping its way down Broadway this morning. And there was another guy sleeping with his head on a backpack under the bus stop bench. But each of us has lives that are too cluttered with broken water pipes and complicated decisions and aching loved ones and maybe my very first thought of the day is not This is the day that the LORD has made. But last night we dribbled oil and balsamic over the salad with big crunchy croutons, sipped chilled white and watched bemused as Everette wandered around the colored-light lit backyard with a box of crackers looking for scorpions to eat.
And I pulled myself out of the pool this morning under a golden grey dappled sky. Who knows what seed will be sown today? Or what shoots will break forth. And even perhaps some thick sheaves may be hefted in celebration.
So dear LORD God I repent. May I be fully satisfied by the fruits of your works today. Strengthen my heart. Gladden the soul of your servant.
I lift up my eyes unto Thee.