Seeker: “I lift up my eyes to the hills– from where will my help come?”
Me: There were times and places in my life when I needed help. Of course, many times I needed help from the people around me, support and assistance in coping with life. But there were also times I needed spiritual help. I think back to my growing up years; the pastor of my home church – the church of my childhood and youth – who helped me a great deal. In fact, I think it was part of his influence that eventually lead me to do spiritual direction and counseling. There were others along the way – teachers and professors, peers and adults – who offered a listening ear and wise words. I am convinced that the Divine arranged for them to be in my life, and naturally in the lives of others, to help us along our way.
But there was also the God-self, the Divine, who sought me out and comforted me. If I had not had the experience of hearing the voice of the Lord God through the people around me, I don’t think I would have thought that the Lord God would speak to me. Obviously the Lord God was in the lives of those who helped me. And that made me realized the Lord God could be in my life as well. And connecting directly to the Divine has made all the difference.
Seeker: “My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.”
Me: Sometimes when I write in the voice of Preacher & Seeker, I am not sure which is closer to who I am. In the beginning Seeker was truly not knowledgeable about spiritual matters and so proved to be a good way to teach some basics by having Preacher explain things. But after a certain amount of time it seemed good to have Seeker learn, presenting the potential for all to learn about spiritual and faith matters. Sometimes Seeker teaches Preacher by asking probing questions with innocence and a fierce desire to learn. So I guess I would have to say, in a way, they are both me. Wanting to learn, but also knowing and wanting to teach others. And the more we learn about the Divine, the more we realize there is more to learn, and to experience.
Preacher: “He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade at your right hand.”
Me: I also like using Preacher and Seeker to explore what the psalmist says, and pry beneath the surface meaning of what the psalmist is saying. Seeker can engage and challenge what the psalmist says, and Preacher can elucidate on what the psalmist might have meant or put the psalmist’s words into context.
In my childhood and youth I called on the Lord God the Divine many, many, many, many times. For both small and large concerns. In those formative years Jesus Christ was a friend and a companion in life. The Lord God was Ruler and Parent. Slowly my personal theology evolved and changed; probably in tune with my age and understanding of theology. As I have said at other times, I recommitted my life to the Lord several times. The Divine has been a constant in my life. And because I have come to depend so heavily on that consistency, I have talked and taught it to others.
Preacher & Seeker: “The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.”
Me: I am not sure why, at this juncture, I have inserted myself into their conversation. I suspect it is because . . . well . . . because I wanted to make sure, beloved reader, you understood that it has been me all along. Their personas allowed me to say the sort of things I want to say, but in a different voice and context. It has been a brief appearance, inserting myself in their dialogue and is not likely to happen often. However, all of us would like you, beloved reader, to know . . .
“The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time on and forevermore.” (Psalm 121)