For the Good of Your Place {The Grove: Seek}

If I could have only one chunk of the Holy Scriptures, it would be The Songs of Ascent – that lilting, transcendent collection of fifteen Psalms.[i] After years of returning to this slice again and again, it finally occurred to me to commit them to memory.

They are basically a list of the things in life worth seeking: peace, help, good, friends, good friends, release, freedom, stability, purity, joy, sleep, longevity, forgiveness, simplicity, sanctuary, justice, unity, and blessing.

Memorizing them is a long-view project. I’m only on the fourth one, and that’s a good thing because they’re working on me. I sit in them with intention, and they hum with verve.

 I often read the psalms, all Scripture really, from my own perspective. I identify with the storytellers, and the Spirit shows me places where ancient words intersect with my own experiences, pain or joy. The Word is personal.

It expands when read from the human author’s perspective in which it was written.

Psalm 122 is one of four Songs of Ascent attributed to David.[ii] The final verse is a grounded resolve: Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek your good.

There’s a wideness in David’s words that aligns with the character for which he is commended. When David writes this Psalm, there is one house of God. It’s in Jerusalem, a city at unity with itself.[iii] Isn’t that a beautiful description? I want to live in a city like that.

David, a person of great influence, recognizes that the house of the Lord, the tribes, and his family and companions are interconnected. That their wholeness is his own wholeness, and his is theirs.

This is neither grandiose nor abstract. Interconnectedness is cultivated in the small moments, one small caring act or word at a time.

Brené Brown, a researcher who studies shame and vulnerability, calls these small moments “marbles.” Many thanks to Amy Young and her Internet prowess for the video of this talk. It’s called, The Anatomy of Trust.

What the world needs is more love, trust built one marble at a time between friends. Healthy friendships like this spill over and out. They are Kingdom builders.

A person after God’s own heart is concerned for the gathering of God’s people, and for the place(s) that she calls home. She’s a marble jar friend and she makes marble jar friends. She seeks peace and pursues it.[iv]

How many cities, towns, and villages do our readers around the world represent? Have you visited our community map lately? Take a look, dot the map. We’d love to seek the good of your place alongside you.

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Psalm 122 is a glad ascent, but it is not always so for David. In 2 Samuel 15:30, he’s climbing the same hill weeping and barefoot, in deep distress. The source of his distress is family and friends turned enemy.

If you’re wounded or weary this Advent, and peace is an apparition, know this: God is seeking you out.[v] Come to stillness, and ask God why He seeks you. I’d love to hear about it in the comments if you get an answer.

[i] Psalms 120-134

[ii] The others are 124, 131, and 133.

[iii] Psalm 122:3

[iv] Psalm 34:14

[v] Psalm 8:4

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13 Comments

  1. Spring December 10, 2015

    I love how you talk about God seeking me, an awesome thought.  Really it is always he who seeks us first, sometimes I just like the credit!

    1. Kimberly Todd December 11, 2015

      Thanks, Spring. It’s a beautiful truth, isn’t it?

  2. Amy Young December 10, 2015

    Kimberly, I love how you call us to deeper and farther than we think. I have memorized Psalm 121 years ago and would need to brush up . . . quite a bit. Like, maybe half of it. Maybe I’ll start with Psalm 134 :).

    1. Kimberly Todd December 11, 2015

      I love it! That’s a lovely short one for the launch. =)

  3. Sally Todd December 11, 2015

    A gift from the heart of one called to teach!  From wherever we are finding ourselves at this moment, you opened a door and invited exploration based on the Word.  I pursued just one verse from this posture of seeking interconnectedness and how the Spirit revealed direction for my own circumstances! This piece is a treasure to return to  over and over…  and there are more marbles to give.   Much thanks Kim!

    1. Kimberly Todd December 11, 2015

      Wow, Mom, you make me feel like what I do matters.

      I love that you are a person of action, hearing an invitation and working it out for yourself. You turn marbles to gold.

      1. Sally Todd December 12, 2015

        You are sowing seeds faithfully Kim.  The yield may be far ahead and become visible only in eternity.  Your depth and breadth of faith and intellect and compassion draws those who want more… keep writing for us!

         

  4. Ellie December 11, 2015

    Lovely post Kimberly. Thank you. Deep and encouraging.

    I listened to the Brene Brown talk and it’s amazing as always.

    I am linking up with a blog I happened to write yesterday about “absence of trust” in the place where I’m living right now. A kind of cultural phenomenon which I am finding wearing. It often happens to me that things on VA are things I’ve been thinking about! This one is a bit of a different connection but thought I’d better link “in case God…”!  😛

    I also listened to the next talk by Elizabeth Gilbert which follows on on the link which takes a while to get going while she sets up the premise but was also about the “interconnectedness” concept in the end about how a hummingbird life cross-pollinates society and I found it really interesting/helpful too and am going to recommend these talks to some friends. Blessings.

    1. Kimberly Todd December 11, 2015

      Thanks, Ellie!

      I’m so glad you linked. You’re really onto something in the paragraph about different cultural perspectives and noticing the stress. I can relate to your story in the store. Thank you for telling it.

      I haven’t listened to Elizabeth Gilbert’s talk there yet. Thanks for the teaser. I’ll listen today!

  5. Michele Womble December 16, 2015

    Thank you for the lovely post, Kimberly.   I appreciate that you brought together different aspects of seeking.  Seeking the good of our community, seeking joy, peace, etc. – seeking God..and God seeking us.  I wonder about all that He seeks for us, as well.

    I’m a bit late to the conversation 🙂  but am linking up my post anyway.

    1. Kimberly Todd December 16, 2015

      Michele, I’m so glad you linked! I love the part of your poem about there being different kinds of seeking. It’s so true, even in the same life.

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