I lift up my eyes to the hills, from where will my help come?
How many times have I heard Psalm 121? At how many funerals have I read it or heard it read? Countless. Yet as is often the case, sometimes something happens and one sees such familiar texts in new ways. As I pondered this psalm for a recent sermon, the bible I was working with had a page break after that very first line. All I could see was the question: “from where will my help come?”
Maybe it was that page break that separated out the question and prevented a quick rush to the answer in the verses that follow. Maybe it has been the amount of time I’ve had my head down in a newspaper, or deep in cable tv news trying to take in and understand all that is going on in our world these days. Maybe both.
But it was a good reminder. My help, my foundation, my direction, does not come from me. Those ashes still hanging around from a few weeks ago actually mean something… remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return. And so my first look each day – rather than news, rather than my own dusty, befuddled or overwrought head – needs to be to the One who made heaven and earth – the One who breathed life into all that dust. The one who gives breath and life even now.
First, look up.
Dan Love serves as Co-Pastor at Rye Presbyterian Church in Rye, NY.