Isaiah 61 – garment of praise

I stayed with this beautiful text. And at first I heard nothing. I felt nothing. 
After reading it every day, for a few days, I woke up at night and I could finally articulate my thoughts. Here are my reflections. Thanks to the rabbi for making me sit with the text. My hardened heart and hardened head needed a slow simmering. 

First Stanza: Lament & Petition

Exhausted and overworked 
With a broken spirit 
A frayed patience 
Hopeless and sad 

I long to hear with clarity 
The Good News 
that the Year of God’s favor is near. 

Circumstances and dreams align 
yet my spirit feels hopeless and sad. 
My daughters are home,
My husband is considerate, 
A new home is in the making. 

My father, 
Show me my sin 
And bestow freedom.

Heal me. From the inside out.
Anoint me with the oil of joy
Cover me with the garment of praise.

Second Stanza: Confession

My anger is sin
I confess. 
     My limit. 
        My self righteousness.

My anger is sin. 
I don’t wallow in self pity —
the frailty of my humanity, 
but my anger is sin.

I am not angry at sin 
Thus my anger is sin

I’m angry at interruptions
Incessant noise, human nature 
My anger is sin.

I denounce it
And I beg for God’s forgiveness 
Healing peace. Joy restored.

Third Stanza: Insight

I long to hear clearly 
the voice of God’s anointed 
proclaiming the year of God’s favor 

I long for the freedom of mind
Every day I struggle to find joy
and my authoritarian voice 
thunders at my kids.

I’m angry and tired 
I don’t recognize myself 
this lack of joy 
makes me think I am sick 
and I don’t know it. 

A decade and a half ago
I noted in my Bible
the plea for healing a crushed heart
the sorrow was pure
the emotion intense.

But this despair I’m feeling
the bondage of sadness 
the sin of anger— 
this is worse as it is prolonged 
side by side 
with the seemingly endless pandemic.

We long for freedom 
    out of our small quarters 
But we’ve become slaves 
      to so much more 
Or our limited space has revealed 
      our true bondage of spirit.