How Long O, Lord

May 1, 2003

The writers of the psalms freely expressed every feeling to God, both good and bad. Right now, a number of psalm verses come to mind.

First: “How long, Oh, Lord, how long?” In the last newsletter we reported we were about to move into space at St. Thomas Episcopal Church.  Unfortunately, the completion date for their building project moved from December to February to March to May…and it now looks as though our address will officially change on July 19. I’ve met the delays with characteristic whining. After nine months of waiting, I’m thinking: This isn’t Friends of the Groom. This is Wife of the Groom Pregnant and Three Weeks Past Her Delivery Date.

Second: “Commit your way to the Lord, trust in him and he will act. He will bring forth your vindication as the light.” Several months ago the social services agency my wife, Karen, has directed for 22 years went out of business, largely because of the actions of two county administrators who cancelled important contracts without warning. It seemed to me their actions were grossly unfair and motivated by political reasons. I was ready to pour sugar into somebody’s gas tank, but Karen was wonderfully patient throughout the ordeal, trusting that the truth would come to light. In the end, Karen received a lot of support from fellow social workers and a few weeks ago the two officials in question “resigned” suddenly and without explanation. Which I guess goes to show, an angry husband with a bag of sugar is not nearly as scary as an honest woman who prays. Now we’re just waiting to see what God has in store for Karen.

Third: “I will sing to the Lord, for he has done good to me.” At the end of last year we were facing a shortage of funds. Since then our supporters have responded generously and—despite a sagging economy—donations have actually increased. We’ve also been awarded three new grants totaling $27,500 for 2003. If the rate of giving continues to increase we could reach the end of the year without a deficit.

So…whining, waiting, praising… there’s a psalm for every occasion. As I think of the past six months, I’m especially grateful that God listens to every contradictory feeling and responds to all of them with grace.