(Please click arrow to play so you can share with me the real sense of God calling us, letting us know we are prayed for in love and faithfulness)
A joyful longing to see a loved one or loved place. That is what I hear every time this instrumental version of the beloved American folk song, O Shenandoah, comes up on my Pandora station or ipod audio shuffle. And this morning it popped up – providentially, I am sure – as I was paused on this couplet from the morning’s first psalm,
7 Let him sit enthroned before God for ever; *
bid love and faithfulness watch over him.
What a lovely petition – that someone we know or even ourselves may be watched over by love and faithfulness. A guardian angel – someone watching over us. Bidding we be watched over. Lovely.
This is another way of saying, that all be well with their souls, their hearts, our souls, our hearts. A joyful longing for their days to be guided by love and faithfulness. The ‘rolling river’ of God’s love and faithfulness – far away, but coming. We wait this Advent for his coming.
That’s what I hear in the little couplet. Perhaps prompted in part by our remembrance this past Sunday of Mary’s hymn – the Magnificat that responds to the good news brought to Mary by an angel,
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my savior, for He has looked with favor on His lowly servant.
At the couplet of Psalm 61, I paused to think of such guardian angels in my life – those who have watched over me, who I know truly care for my well-being. One sent me just last week a Christmas decoration to remind me of my presence in her prayers – an angel harkening the good news. I placed her on my mantle, above the fireplace – above the fire. A joyful longing is what I hear out of her little trumpet, that this year I and all who gather with me this coming Christmas day will be well – that our spirits will rejoice in God, our savior, and we will know that He has looked on each of us with favor.
That’s what guardian angels do – they harken the good news to us – stir in us a joyful longing for our well-being. Perched above the fire – or mess of our life – praying for love and faithfulness to infuse and guide us.
A joyful longing for well-being, for love, for health.
May you pause today to recall the angels in your life who have brought you the good news – who have hovered above what you think of the mess of your life to bid you love and faithfulness, a joyful longing for you to be well.