Do not let the foot of the arrogant tread on me,
or the hand of the wicked drive me away.
Psalm 36:11 (NRSV)
It’s been one long snowstorm in Massachusetts. In the past three weeks, the snow banks have grown into mountains and sidewalks are out of sight. It’s not that any one of the storms created havoc, but the steady onslaught of snow laden clouds that have covered the sun for weeks. Snow accumulation has accumulated: too much too close together.
Not a single incident, but a collection of slights and plans gone awry that accumulated into paralyzing, insurmountable banks. A cry to God for help, for a place to stand, for a reprieve from something too big to overcome. Whoever wrote this psalm had too much too close together.
My sons built a snow NO a few days back. They’ve each had fun events cancelled and school days missed – life veering from its expected track. But they had a great time building the snow NO and spending time outdoors together. I see their NO every time I feed the birds or glance out the window.
I think the psalmist was creating his own snow NO – a complaint against life going wrong and the ones responsible for some of it. Snow falls on the wicked and the good and a sense of proportion and humor kept bitterness from settling in his or her heart permanently. Why do I think this? Because these words are also in psalm 36:
Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds. (Psalm 36:5)
No amount of blinding white can hide the truth: we are never lost to God. Snow or no snow.