There was a moment last year when I laid on my bed and let out a scream. My dog, Fiona, immediately got up and laid down completely length-wise on top of me. Instinctively, she seemed to know the benefits of a weighted blanket. This moment sticks out to me for two reasons (other than my dog being awesome). One, sometimes we really do need the opportunity to let all that pent-up emotion, anxiety, stress, anger, whatever, release in a shout. And two, there is nothing better than being immediately reminded that you are not alone. Thank God for creatures of all kinds.
Our Wednesday night group has returned to the psalms many times this last year, and I think it’s partly because the psalms carry such good words to help us tap into what we’re feeling, to express the screams buried in our minds and hearts, as well as the shouts of joy.
Grieving? “I am weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with my weeping.” (Psalm 6)
Angry? “Do not be silent, O God of my praise. For wicked and deceitful mouths are opened against me, speaking against me with lying tongues.” (Psalm 109)
Longing? “My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and behold the face of God?" (Psalm 42)
Grateful? “O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his steadfast love endures forever!” (Psalm 118)
Our lives are filled with all these various emotions and experiences. It is good to know that we are not alone in them. Ellen F. Davis, a seminary professor, writes that the psalms invite us into “honest speech” with God. As we continue to press forward, I encourage you to search through the psalms. Find the words that resonate and speak to what you are feeling and experiencing. They give you permission to weep, to curse, to hope and to praise. God receives it all. You are not alone.