Jul 142020

As a deer longs for flowing streams,

so my soul longs for you, O God. (Psalm 42:1)

This is one of the more resonant images from the Book of Psalms – the peaceful deer (could there be a gentler creature?), the quiet stream (could there be a calmer water?), the quenching thirst (could there be a more satisfying drink?), the being-sustaining God (is there any greater comfort in life?). While many of us remember well this iconic image, we forget that the psalmist sings this during dark times: her tears have been her food (v. 3), her being has been cast down (v. 5, 6,11), she feels forgotten (v. 9) and wounded (10). But even amid the difficulty, it is the peaceful that holds this psalm together; it is the peaceful that holds us all together. And like the deer and like the psalmist, our beings’ will find that perfect, sustaining peace only in the presence of God. – rc

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