My recurring dream involves a tidal wave that stretches two or three hundred feet into the air before crashing onto a beach. I’m standing on the balcony of a building watching the wave reach its pinnacle. The dream ends just as the wave starts to break over the shoreline.
This dream and our nightmare of the last few years make the language in today’s psalm familiar: the flood would have swept us away, the torrent would have gone over us; then over us would have gone the raging waters (vv. 4-5). The crisis of a novel virus and a global pandemic swept over us. We battled enemies of indifference, falsehood, and greed. The battle raged continuously in communities and on screens.
Will the clinical impact of coronavirus lessen over time? Yes. Will the acute trauma ebb? Yes. Will overwhelming waves and the sense of being attacked like the psalmist describes subside? I don’t know.
Do I need to emerge anyway? Yes. The psalmist blesses God for not giving up on them, for helping them escape like a bird from the snare of the fowlers (v. 7). I ask God to help me, however painstakingly, to unfurl these new, scarred wings that God has formed for us over the last few years. When the light hits them, they glow with luminous resilience. I ask for enough humility to ride on, not above or ahead of, God’s sustained winds of grace. The hard part of flying is the need to let go. Call it a fowler’s snare or the burden of carrying an ocean of grief, I need God’s help to fly free. Blessed be the Lord who supplies wings for us and winds of grace. Blessed be the Lord who does not abandon us to tidal waves or enemies or darkness.
Reflect for a moment on the scars you bear from these last few years. How is God teaching you new ways to fly?
God, you know our scars, our grief, our yawning helplessness. You call us to move into the future even when our wings are tired and scarred. We trust you to heal our wings and provide the winds to lift us up. Help us let go when it is time to fly. Amen.