“Let those who desire my victory shout for joy and be glad. Let them say evermore, ‘Great is the Lord, who delights in the success of God’s servant.’ Then my tongue shall tell of your righteousness and of your praise all day long.” – Psalm 35:27
There’s a boy in the park outside my apartment window, a teenager, lanky and brown, hair streaked Smurf blue, feet as big as his skateboard. He’s here every day, wreaking havoc on the soft bricks of the sidewalk trying to nail a fancy move.
It’s eluding him. He keeps flying up, falling off, and screeching bloody murder. Where did he learn those words?
He tries again, misses again. With every miss, the board hits the sidewalk with a hard slap, sharp as the report of a rifle. He misses a lot. Slap, slap, slap.
The terrorized cat has fled to a cardboard box in the closet. I’m trying to write, but I can’t concentrate. I go to the window and watch him, tempted to shout at him to go away. I half-admire his persistence, but I’m getting annoyed.
Just then he pulls it off. He does it, cool and elegant and clean. He runs a hand through his electric hair. “Oh baby,” he cries, “baby, baby, baby!”
Now at the window I’m cheering, grateful to have seen it, that perfect move, the nailed landing, the flash of his jubilant grin as, in his mind’s eye, the anthem plays and the gold is looped over his head.
I think of God’s glee when, after countless hard landings, we finally nail it too. When even once we get life right.
Watch over us as we practice life, O God. Delight in us when we get it right.
Mary Luti is a long time seminary educator and pastor, author of Teresa of Avila’s Way and numerous articles, and founding member of The Daughters of Abraham, a national network of interfaith women’s book groups.