Good morning all!
Psalm 63:1-4 (NRSV)
1 O God, you are my God, I seek you,
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
2 So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory.
3 Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you.
4 So I will bless you as long as I live;
I will lift up my hands and call on your name.
This week in Oregon it is really starting to feel like spring. Oregonian valley springs are the best. They start earlyish (we are due to have lots more rain this week) and they last a long time. The flowers start to bloom right about now and you can see Oregonians, without thinking, turn their faces to the sun that we really haven’t seen in a while. It just feels so good to feel that warmth. A dear friend and I decided then on Wednesday to go walk around the grotto. We both needed a reset and some extra peace. If you haven’t been to the Grotto in Portland you have to go…even if you aren’t Catholic. Even if you aren’t Christian…you must go. When you walk in, there is an instead feeling of peace and the picture above is what you find at the end of the first trail. It always takes my breath away. Here, in this sacred space, are people’s prayers before God, burning away in the midst of natural wonder. The rock cave holds a version of the pieta and it is truly stunning. On this particular day, there were people here and there in deep reverence which made the experience that much more profound.
Then you must pay for the elevator to go up. Up above, when you step off, is the most amazing view of Portland and then there are a few trails that walk you through peaceful and deeply moving stations of the cross, art, water, and a labyrinth. This place is a hidden treasure of Portland and very near our house…hint hint.
Earlier in the week I had taken Rudy on a walk around our neighborhood. It was windy and cold but gorgeous with sun. I went out with mission of walking the dog but then I noticed as a wind would gust through Rudy would stop and lean into the wind. He had this look on his face of pure joy…just leaning in and pausing for it. This made me look up. I was too busy before getting it done but when I looked up I noticed those first few signs of hope and new life….
Any good Oregonian from the valley knows that these are some of the first to arrive. Thank you to my neighbors for planting them at some point. Daffodils and Crocus are signs to us in a wilderness of winter. They are signs that something new is coming and it is bright. When we thirst for God, these spaces indicate to us that God has come and will come again. We can hope for resurrection in the midst of thirst because of what is to come. David sings this Psalm while in wilderness. And still David sings of joy in the midst of longing. This week has been a reminder of all that is to come for me.