That was my first reaction to the morning’s psalm. Before I recognized that it is one of my least favorite psalms, the opening verse just made me smile.
It is one of my least favorite because not because of the poetry, the imagery, the feelings of love, of being in-love, which are evoked but because it just feels out-of-place in the Psalter. It is a love song, after all. Or as theologian C.S. Lewis describes ‘a laureate ode on a royal wedding.’ He goes on to call the marriage ode ‘magnificent,’ even.
Ok. I have studied the psalm, I know what secondary meaning can be mined. I’ve read Lewis’ reflections. Other theologians, too, like Walter Brueggemann and James Mays. I see how it deepens an understanding of all the bride/bridegroom imagery in scripture and as a student of the psalm, I can get into it and delight in learning all the possible whispers the Holy Spirit infused in the poetry meant for a wedding but that speaks through time to all followers of the Jesus.
But as a way to kick off a morning quiet time with the Lord, well Psalm 45 has just never ushered in that ‘sense’ of God’s presence that comes so often out of the words in the psalter.
But for this morning. So returning to that moment for a minute and the back-story.
I went to my laptop bible for the Daily Office readings instead of my personal bible because I am trying out different bible software for the readings. I have used Oremus up to now specifically for use on this blog. The links are easily inserted and made. But I prefer the layout of a different bible software. So I am trying it out and went there this morning and instead of writing down the day’s reading, I simply clicked the link to the morning’s psalm without noting which one it was.
I read verse one and I smiled. I could feel myself smile. Paused. Filled with such warmth – yes, I thought – my heart, your heart, all of us who pursue the Lord and who know we are pursued by Him, our lives are a godly theme. Our stories. God’s glory. It is all about hearts for our Creator and Redeemer that just overflow with a godly theme. And that momentary thought, that slice of life smiling moment, was just what I needed to remind myself to ground this day in gratitude, in joy, in God’s steadfast, relentless love. The smile that came to me at that verse prompted me to recall other smiling moments. People who make me smile. Memories that make me smile. Pictures, art, illustrations and photographs that say something without words. Just the image touches and brings a smile, like this one I came across recently on a Pinterest board by photographer, Sebastian Luczywo. Any parent might chuckle at this…who’s in the dog house today?
But, I digress.
I haven’t done much smiling lately. How lovely for the Holy Spirit to tickle my fancy this morning. To encourage me to not begin yet another day in sadness and resignation. To not wallow in the things that bring me down.
Such a simple, graceful thing, a smile. I’m so grateful one came to me this day.
What makes you smile? Where has the Holy Spirt touched your heart?