Writing is much, much harder than talking. I can’t see your face. I can’t tell if you’re trying to scoot off or if you’re bursting with news or ready to rant. Therefore, I don’t know if I should lob a quick sentence or trot out my most favoritest big words. I can’t gauge your reaction, so I’ve been second-guessing myself all week: Does this sound fake? Am I coming across like one of those, you know, bloggers? Should I find emotional quotes to make my blog sound legit? People like that. But I hate research, I just hate it, and I don’t care who said “comparison is the thief of joy,” we all want it to be someone like Dorothy Day and instead it’s going to be Eleanor Roosevelt, I just know it.
(I looked it up: It was Theodore Roosevelt!)
Anyway, I want to be authentic without sounding like a huge prat. In real life I can hear myself and yank my own shirt collar backwards. (Most of the time. Last night I was a big fat interrupter, but only once!) I’ve got so much to say, and I don’t want to be profound, I just want to be useful. So here’s what I’m going to tell you today. It’s what I told my neighbor this morning over coffee:
(Lest it appear as though I have intimate coffee klatches with older, wiser mentors all the time because I’m earnestly seeking my own spiritual growth, I shall reveal that I walked across the wet lawn in my flip flops, steaming coffee mug in hand, and proceeded to talk at the poor lady for at least fourteen minutes while my kids were in the house multiplying fractions without me, but it was her own fault for getting her bathroom renovated and telling me I could come check it out any time, ha ha ha. I plan to bombard another fine, older woman probably around mid-December when I melt down over cut-out, roll-out holiday sugar cookies. Beware.)
Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits. Ps. 68:19
Good ol’ King James brings it. LOADETH!!!
Here are some of my benefits today: one bunch of scarlet leaves at the top of the maple, returning most of the library books, remembering to renew the stragglers, meatball subs for dinner and a bunch of cut-up carrots on the side because I wasn’t feeling a whole salad, and this bon mot from the school room: “Mumma, do you know what my favorite cursive letter is? Lowercase E. It loops up and down, just like one of those fancy Hot Wheels sets.”
It’s tempting to focus on the word “loadeth” and feel the Not-Benefits-At-All that weigh us down. We might think, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden…” but upon further reflection, we remember that verse is the final salvo in a crescendo where Jesus calls out violence against the Kingdom, curses the unrepentant, declares His divinity, asserts His authority, claims sovereignty to call those whom He will call, equals Himself to the Father whom He thanks for his glorious will, and then—at the very end, where you are nail-bitingly sure He’s going to draw a sword—then, He invites the weary to taste freedom. Come, learn from a gentle, lowly Savior who promises rest for your soul instead of a yoke of spiritual slavery. His burden is light.
Soooo, not Matthew 11, then.
The soul-flying bit of Psalm 68:19 is the declaration of blessing to THE LORD who does the wonderful daily dock-worker job of loading us with benefits. Obviously, if you read the word “load” and immediately think of your present darkness, you go right ahead and cast those burdens on the Lord who cares for you. Absolutely! But here, the Psalmist invites us into a Godward sort of praise. Blessed be the Lord. Blessed be the Lord every day. Every day, he loadeth us with benefits. Ooh, like what?!?! “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation.”
Salvation! What benefit is better than that?! NONE BETTER. He is the God of your salvation. Say it out loud and watch the darkness flee. Say it out loud and give Him the praise He is due. Tomorrow morning when our mercies are new, there will also be a large pile of benefits right beside us. Don’t you wonder what might be in your pile?! Frankly, I’m hoping for apple cider to be on sale again, that would be great. Also, patience to deal with someone who rubs me the wrong way (because I’m selfish, not because they’re difficult), and inspiration to make The Whole Salad Not Just Carrot Sticks, and for the bright green leaves against the bright blue sky to stay in my brain all the way through November. And the joy of my salvation. And His lovingkindness. And peace.
Blessed be the Lord. May we all have eyes to see.