missing the psalms, longhand and familiar ways

missing the psalms, longhand and familiar ways


Yesterday I watched a message by Shauna Niequist about 

contentment and the dreaded FOMO (fear of missing out).

Psalm 16 was her centerpiece scripture.

I was immediately drawn in as those eleven verses comprise one of my favorite psalms.

I realized after the 30 minutes had passed, I have been missing the Psalms.

I think  this is  the best type of feeling you are missing out.

I have been diligent in keeping to my reading plan (M’Cheyne) for this year and for the first

time in many years it feels nothing like a drudgery and all parts joy.

Some days, I don’t have a chance to get to my reading until the evening but I am

anxious to return rather than sensing an invisible taskmaster is cracking a whip

over my day.

The Psalms anchor me and I sometimes forget.

Encompassed within them are much-needed reminders of God’s goodness and faithfulness.

I am reassured it is altogether human and common to ask questions and be filled with all

types of emotions.

I revisit the reality that His perspective and mine are usually not in unison.

I connect with the writers who knew that apart from God there was nothing good.

I like how they assist me to daily recommit my aim to cling to Him and His


I simply need to be drawn back to the character and majesty of God.


Today I am in a coffee shop with Courtney.

People are working and chatting and making business calls.

Before I begin to write out any words that might be hiding within me,

I pull out a notebook and take up a neglected but familiar practice.

I fan the pages to find where I left off and I write out a psalm.

My body feels tension on the side where my longhand tumbles out ancient letters.

I am weakened by technology.

I believed years ago that I would never begin writing without first scratching out the contents

with pen and paper.

I didn’t feel the “writing process” could be reproduced upon a keyboard.

But gradually it has.

These days I scratch out fragments of thoughts in notebooks, napkins and on stray receipts

and later give permission for the keyboard to imprint them upon a screen.

I need familiar ways.

I need God’s ways.

I need the Psalms to keep me afloat in this turbulent world.

I need the feel of hand against paper and ink spilling out to cover its nakedness.

I require the writing of the psalms with my hand as their familiarity can

cause me to hover over the tissue paper and not dwell within the bold print.

The practice of writing them out forces me to see them from an

angle which penetrates my soul.

It allows me to become a psalmist too.

Today I am thankful for paper, ink, keyboards and those mighty psalms.

What familiar ways have escaped your grasp and need to be recaptured?

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