High River United Church of High River, Alberta

A Message to Connect - May 6

Grace & Peace to you! 

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Sunshine Lake - photo by Susan Lukey


Susan’s Reflections on Psalm 6

I promise: we will get to some joyous psalms and some purely comforting psalms… soon. We are not too far away from the most famous psalm of all: #23…. ‘The Lord is my shepherd.’ But for now we journey with the psalms that are presented, and these first psalms are full of frustration and anguish. Isn’t it interesting that that is where those who complied this book chose to begin?


Psalm 6 is a psalm of grief. The sub-title in the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible states that it is a ‘prayer for recovery from grave illness.’ It might be, but the person might also be languishing in grief because of the death of a loved one, or shaking in terror because of the alarming situation in which they find themselves, or moaning in exhaustion at the end of an overwhelming day. Many of these phrases connect with what people are experiencing in these times. That’s one of the things I love about the Bible. Even though the Bible was written thousands of years ago, the human experience resonates across the years.


The verse that jumps out for me today is “Every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with my weeping.” I appreciate how honest the psalm writer is. They don’t sugar-coat or minimize what they are experiencing by saying, “I shed a few tears when I went to bed last night.” No, they flooded their bed with tears and drenched their couch!!! Wow!


We live in a society in which we are constantly told in commercials that if we buy a certain product, it will fill a gap in our lives, cure an ill, or solve a need. The overall message is that if we just buy enough things, we’ll be happy.  Yet, we know that it doesn’t work that way, even as we continue to be bombarded with the message.


This psalm offers the actual “product” that will fill the gap, cure the ills of our hearts, and solve the emptiness – and that is tears, buckets of tears that flood and drench. Tears are a gift from God, built into our brains. Tears are the answer. While the commercial says, “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend,” the truth is that “Tears are our best friend.” That’s because tears help us adapt. You’ve heard us say it before, but I’ll say it again, sparked by this psalm: A good cry helps us adapt and find our way.


So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, exhausted or out of sorts, let the tears come. Watch a sad movie, listen to a sad song, read a sad story, and let the tears flow. The tears don’t necessarily need to flood the bed or drench your couch; even a few gently rolling down the cheek bring release.


And, as the psalmist tells us, God hears the sound of our weeping and we are delivered into God’s steadfast love. There we will find our smile and our laughter again. God was not the source of the illness or punishing the one crying out. God’s love was waiting and ready, for the psalm writer and for us. Tears opened the door to God’s presence. Tears are the path through whatever we are facing. Thanks be to God!


With love and blessings,

Rev. Susan & Rev. David

High River United Church – a community of help, home & hope

“Just to be is a blessing; just to live is holy.” A. Heschel



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