The voice of the LORD destroys the cedar trees; the LORD shatters cedars on Mount Lebanon. God makes Mount Lebanon skip like a calf and Mount Hermon jump like a wild ox. The voice of the LORD makes deer give birth before their time. – Psalm 29:5-6 & 9a (CEV)
These are tumultuous days. State violence against people and communities of color dominates the news, overwhelming the updates about a global pandemic, which in turn overshadowed the analyses of an election year, which in turn bumped the reports on climate change and mass shootings, which in turn crowded out the news of children detained and imprisoned at the U.S.-Mexico border.
The raging tumult may feel like a disruption to our lives – and it is – but it is also a constant in our lives, more predictable than we might prefer to acknowledge.
It’s the tumult itself that needs holy, human, hard disruption.
Disruption like a voice shattering cedar trees.
Disruption like a cardboard sign defying rubber bullets.
Disruption like the mountain of racism being compelled to skip and dance in retreat from the advancing storm of peace.
Disruption like a fawn born early while frost is still on the ground, like a crocus blooming in winter, like a window of indifference breaking in pieces, like a spirit of joy undermining hatred.
Such disruption does not occur without destruction. After all, evil has been nurturing its roots and consuming strange fruits ever since the serpent first suggested that humanity should be its own god. Those roots don’t need our delicate landscaping. They need to be dug up and cut down, disrupted and shattered.
The voice of the LORD is a force that upends our systemic tumult. By God’s voice we are continually disrupted – and invited to do the same.
Thundering God, I cannot fathom dancing mountains or fawns in winter, yet I am not surprised by racism or war or pollution. Disrupt my expectations, and I will worship your name.