Monday, August 01, 2005

A world without desperation

Psalm 23
Journal entry dated March 16, 2005

"In the house of the Lord will I dwell for the rest of my days."

What does it mean to be a guest in the house of the Lord? The house of the Lord is the place where there is no lack, where a generous table is spread and there is food enough for all. The house of the Lord is the place where there is no fear, where the enemy does not come in to kill and to destroy.

This psalm is well-beloved by the comfortable and the complacent, by the Hallmark and Precious Moments spirituality crowd, by lovers of Thomas Kinkaid® everywhere. Part of me feels the need to rage against this psalm, or at least against this kind of self-satisfied appropriation of it. Wake up! The world is not like this for the vast majority of its inhabitants. Their cup does not run over. They know lack, and they know fear.

To be a guest in the house of the Lord is to inhabit that space where there is no fear or lack of anything. This is God's hospitality towards us, which we are called to imitate. It would be easier to do good in a world where there was no fear and no lack. Perhaps some would still steal, but no one would steal because he or his family was hungry. Perhaps some would still use violence, but no one would use violence out of fear of others. Or maybe a world without fear or lack would mean a world in which theft and violence have disappeared altogether. A world without desperation. What would a world without desperation look like?

The Selah Project

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