By Barbara Certa-Werner

“When I started Lent this year, I didn’t realize how much I would be giving up.” – Facebook post

I read this post last week and at first it made me chuckle, but then the reality struck me that few of us could have foreseen what our lives would be like a mid-way through this holy time of Lent.  I then realized that all the things I thought I needed to do during the Lenten season have gone by the wayside and I have started anew.

One of my new practices is reading a Psalm a day and taking time to reflect and/or pray the Psalm. For today, it is Psalm 4 (yes I just started on Sunday!):

Answer me when I cry out, my righteous God! Set me free from my troubles!
Have mercy on me! Listen to my prayer! How long, you people will my reputation be insulted?
How long will you continue to love what is worthless and go after lies?
Know this: the Lord takes personal care of the faithful.
The Lord will hear me when I cry out to God. So do not be afraid and do not sin!
Think hard about it in your bed and weep over it! Bring righteous offerings and trust the Lord!
May people say, “We can’t find goodness anywhere. The light of Your face has left us, Lord.”
But you have filled my heart with more joy than when their where and wine everywhere!
I will lie down and fall asleep in peace because you alone, Lord, let me live in safety.

This Psalm speaks to me in this time and in this place, and I believe that it will speak to you as well. The psalmist hits the nail on the head, we long for freedom from our troubles, we beg for mercy, we want to love what is worthy and we search for meaning.

And then in the stillness and quiet of a sunrise, the laughter of a child, the smile of a friend, the words of a poet, the coolness of a winter breeze, we realize that our hearts are filled with joy and we may lie asleep in peace. My prayer for each of us is that we may recognize these connectional moments and be filled with joy and peace.