Despite the majesty and design of the created world, there are detractors who dispute God’s ways and undermine God’s work. Why, in the midst of such a celebratory psalm, does the psalmist choose to admit that God has foes and raucous enemies?
God’s order—God’s method for creating, empowering, and renewing life—is not impervious to dissent and defiance. The beautifully created alignment of which Wisdom sings in Proverbs 8 can be damaged and imbalanced. The psalmist would be less than truthful if he rejoiced over God’s sovereignty but neglected to acknowledge the nagging problem of cruelty and chaos. We see this contradiction daily: the joy of loving relationships and the heartbreak of abusive ones, the breathtaking appearance of a hummingbird and the horror of an oil spill, the joyful release of a foot-stomping dance and the destruction of communities by war and famine.
How will God care for and repair the order of life so deeply injured? In verse 2 the psalmist suggests a most unexpected method of restoration: Where enemies have frustrated God’s design, God will further upend all designs by naming the youngest and weakest as God’s cornerstone for strength and healing. God will turn familiar orders of power and dominion on their heads. With the coos and giggles of babes, God will silence the noise of chaos. With the wisdom of newborns, God will outsmart the cleverest foes. With the wiggling-not-yet-walking toes of infants, God will stand up a fortress to shelter life from the storms of violence. Though we lament the chaos and fear that our warring world generates, God continually renews life through the least and the least expected.
Calm my fears, majestic God, and remind me again that your ways are not my ways. Help me align myself not to strength but to humility, not to power but to mystery. Amen.
Whitney Simpson offers a wide-open doorway into embodied practice and awakens us to the long-held wisdom of our tradition that our bodies are sacred places where God meets us and dwells. Fully Human, Fully Divine is a true Christmas gift!”
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