As a Mennonite community, the community I pastor, we are on a journey throughout Lent in which we seek to focus on Psalms of Disorientation and Reorientation. Walter Brueggemann is the one who gives voice to this understanding of the Psalms (cf. Praying the Psalms, Spirituality of the Psalms) and expresses that the Psalms of Lament are meant to disorient us.
Last week was a hard week – in fact preaching through Lent on this theme of disorientation and reorientation has been difficult – it has taken much from me. I am deeply engaging what it means to be reoriented, but every week in preparing for Sunday has involved some disorienting event or experience – this is not only a series I am preaching on, it is something I am experiencing as well. In fact, last week one of the members of my community approached me and asked, “I bet you can’t wait for Easter to get here.”
Yes, Easter in focusing on Resurrection is the ultimate act of reorientation. As I reflected on the statement that was made, I am reminded of not just waiting for Easter for reorientation, but to receive the gift of rest, the gift of Sabbath, that the Spirit gives in the midst of our days – a gift that is deeply reorienting amid our being disoriented.
And just now, in the midst of writing this – the Spirit brought about such an experience of rest and reorientation. A young man just came through the door of our Mennonite Ministries office struggling with his life being turned upside-down. What was reorienting in this was realizing that this was a serendipity of the Spirit for both him and me. In our sharing together, he was being encouraged to stop crying out “why God,” and begin again to be open to walk with God who is already walking with him, to give thanks to God in the midst of his life and circumstances, to notice what God is doing and seeking to do in his life – and for me, this gift of being able to listen to someone lost on their way, to be used of the Spirit to help guide them along their journey, reminded me of what God is doing in me and desires to do through me. I was reminded by the Spirit that I need to slow down to be aware of the leading of the Spirit in my life. It is in such moments of being reoriented, given rest, that I am realigned to see that my life is not about me, but what God is about in the world in making all things new – renewing lives, reconciling people, healing brokenness, setting people free.
Lord, may I never lose sight of seeing who you see and how you see them.