The Book of Psalms offers a universal vision of worship and praise. It is not just God’s people who praise the Lord. The chorus of praise is joined by all the nations, every ruler, and very loudly, by creation itself.
In the pre-modern age, asking the question, “Who needs God anyway?” would have been unthinkable. Everything in heaven and earth was an expression of the transcendent reality of the divine. Today, this question is a quite mainstream question, even a rhetorical question that assumes the answer is, “No one!” Now, there are still plenty of folks who would answer that we all need God in some way. We might bemoan the fact that so many people even think such things. We might blame the problems of the world on those who don’t think we need God.
Grief, on the one hand, is a universal human experience. On the other, grief is as varied and particular as everyone who walks its path. Grief is not a journey we choose. It can seem like a force that hijacks our trip through life. Sometimes grief can seem like an unwanted guest who shows up to stay and we don’t know the duration of the visit.
The most common form of greeting for just about anyone we meet, close friend or total stranger, is, “Hi. How are you?” For most of my life, the standard response from an optimist, or one who wants you to mind your own business, was, “Fine.” Others might answer with something less committal like, “I’m upright.” George Carlin, the late, great comedian once said he liked to respond, “I’m not unwell,” just to throw people a curve. These days, however, the most frequent response to my query, “How are you?” is, “I’m busy.”