1Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have walked in my integrity,
and I have trusted in the Lord without wavering.
2Prove me, O Lord, and try me; test my heart and mind.
3For your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in faithfulness to you.
8O Lord, I love the house in which you dwell, and the place where your glory abides.
9Do not sweep me away with sinners, nor my life with the bloodthirsty,
11But as for me, I walk in my integrity; redeem me, and be gracious to me.
12My foot stands on level ground; in the great congregation I will bless the Lord.
~ Psalm 26
1Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations.
2Before the mountains were brought forth,
or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
3You turn us back to dust, and say, “Turn back, you mortals.”
4For a thousand years in your sight are like yesterday when it is past,
or like a watch in the night.
12So teach us to count our days that we may gain a wise heart.
13Turn, O Lord! How long? Have compassion on your servants!
14Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
so that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
17Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
and prosper for us the work of our hands—
O prosper the work of our hands!
I feel that I am, abruptly, in a kind of brave new world, where the possibility of coming out is no longer entirely theoretical, or "someday," but much more immediate, now. Everything is feeding into this possibility... random conversations with all sorts of people, the things I hear on the radio, magazine articles, and, of course, the psalms of the day.
Above are the particular verses of this morning's psalms that brought a lump to my throat as I prayed them this morning, a candle flickering in my living room and my prayer shawl around my shoulders. Vindicate me, God, for I have walked with integrity... yes... Lord, I love the house in which you dwell, where your glory abides... yes, yes... My foot stands on level ground, in the great congregation I will praise the Lord... Yes! Oh, my, yes, Amen.
I think the gift I received from my daughter last night was to begin to grapple with the anticipation of the grief I would certainly feel should I have to leave my congregation. Her simplicity, her forthrightness... yes, it would be sad. But how lovely to be who you really are... gave me an injection of strength I could not have anticipated. I told her, in the way of preparing her for some potentially hard times ahead. And the result was that she gave me strength. She prepared me.
God does indeed satisfy me in the morning with her steadfast love; I pray that she might prosper the works of my hands and heart, even this hard work of coming out.