They say that idle hands are the devil’s workshop. So true.
What to do with those spare minutes between the time when I’m finished my work on my computer and the time that I need to lie down and rest? In the past, this interval is when I would be tempted to play minesweeper or some other game. Later, I decided not to give into those (rather addictive) temptations. Instead, I used to maybe click on Facebook and scan down my home feed – usually not finding anything meaningful or even memorable. Or, maybe I would go over to ancestry.com and see if there was anything quick that I could explore – but there’s never anything quick, so I usually wouldn’t do anything. And, so, I have decided, rather spontaneously, to now take that brief, leisure time to read one Psalm from an online Bible.
Reading the Bible, ah, yes, something that I know that I should do as a believing Christian and something that I actually do want to do as a lover of Christ – but, it’s just so hard! Does that sound like I’m whining? Well, I guess I am a little bit. But, I’m not complaining, because I believe that the Bible shouldn’t be an easy, breezy read – life as a human isn’t easy, breezy, so why should a book written about us be so? I have been given much insight and understanding and even encouragement and love from reading short passages of Scripture. But, to read all of Scripture, every book in entirety? It overwhelms me. I’ve made many different resolutions to read the Bible, taking many different forms, like chronologically, or skipping around from book to book. But, I think that this new idea, reading one Psalm in free minutes – just one – might actually become reality. (Although I’ve only done it once since I made the decision almost a week ago, so… we’ll see….)
I began my new quest on Good Friday. I had just finished praying while watching The Stations of the Cross through my diocesan channel on YouTube and had some time remaining before I needed to get my poor body out of the wheelchair. I began with Psalm 1 – where else? And what did I read as a complete sentence with my eyes?………
“Blessed is the man who does not walk”
– and an instant reaction of a big smile spread across my face. A little perplexed for a fraction of a nano second – blessed is the man who does not walk?? – and then I saw my error and the great humor of it all at once. There was joy in it. For this didn’t come to me as a simple mistake made by my limited little brain, but, rather, as a kind of direct and personal message sent to me by the Holy Spirit through the words of Sacred Scripture.
Jews and Christians, who lovingly hold the Psalms in common, believe that the power of God inspired the writers of the Bible so that they would write what God intended. And since, for God, there are no minutes, or years, or decades, or millennia, or eons, but, rather, everything and everyone is immediately present to God, those writers did not just write those words for themselves or their own people in their own time – but, rather, for everyone, everywhere, for all time… for me, here and now. This is what God intends. God shall speak and we shall listen. We shall seek and we shall find that God provides… endlessly.
And so, God provided for me, in the digitized pages of the Bible, a little twist of divine wisdom to wind itself through my brain and into my mind and heart. With a simple line break, God provided joy and funniness – that sacred kind of funniness that is like irony, or somersaults, or jujitsu, or topsy-turvism. Perhaps, this was a divine message to me that I am blessed as I am, that there is actually special blessedness in disease and disability. Or, perhaps the divine intent was for me to make the mistake in reading so that I may be reminded that not everything is as it seems.
Or maybe it’s both.
It could be like God saying to me, “Do you think you know how everything works, Christina? Do you think that you have figured out the secret path of life and the way of the universe? Do you think that you are balanced and well-informed, knowledgeable and doing well? Well, flip this. Let’s shake things up, turn things upside down, and then see how well you do. I have told you and shown you many things… but there is so much more of which you are incapable of seeing and knowing while you are still right side up.”
“Blessed is the man who does not walk
… who does not stand
… who does not sit”
… and who does not lie.
© 2015 Christina Chase
I don't call myself a poet — but the beating of my heart is poetry. I don't call myself a theologian — but the light of my mind seeks the Divine. Who I am is a Child of God, a Divine Creation, a person devoted to being fully human, fully alive.