Sourdough and the Psalms

This winter, I’ve been reading God’s Word when I sit in my house, and when I walk by the way, and when I lie down, and when I rise (Deut. 6:7). I decided in January to take up the whole Story of Scripture and try reading from Creation to the last “Amen” in just two months. It’s been wearisome and very good, and I’ve had to make space for it. Along the way, I’m learning to love the LORD my God with my hands and work, as well as my heart and mind.

I made sourdough loaves last week, and in between stretchings and foldings, I leaned against the countertop and read a Psalm or two (and left a little bread flour on the front cover):

“You cause grass to grow for the livestock

and plants for man to cultivate,

that he may bring forth food from the earth

…and bread to strengthen man’s heart.”

~ Psalm 107:14-15

I walked past Krinnings’ windblown field, bundled in a coat, and Solomon’s song reminded me of what’s coming:

“{For} behold, the winter is past;

the rain is over and gone.

The flowers appear on the earth,

The time of singing has come…”

~ Song of Solomon 2:11-12

On Mondays, I water houseplants for Larry and Betty while they’re away, and I’ve listened to Jeremiah’s call to God’s people— exiled and living in a house that wasn’t their own:

“Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce… Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf…”

~ Jeremiah 29:7

I even tried reading snippets of Isaiah in front of the TV one night, while halfway watching a nature documentary about a mama Puma roaming the wildlands of Patagonia. She tore apart the carcasses of mountain alpacas, only to turn and feed the meat to her cubs.

I read:

“As a lion or a young lion

growls over his prey…

so the LORD of hosts will

come down

to fight on Mount Zion

and on its hill.

… The LORD of hosts will protect Jerusalem;

he will protect and deliver it;

he will spare and rescue it.”

~ Isaiah 31:4-5

And in all the spaces between — the highway drives and minutes just before sleep, when I feel like it and when I don’t, when I’m awake to God’s words and when I’d rather nod off — I take in the Story as it was written. It comes to me, not in abstract doctrines, but in an enfleshed knowledge of God that works itself out in the bread dough I stretch and walks I take down Edgewood.

It reminds me of how the word of the Lord came to the prophets of old; how he sent Jeremiah to a potter’s house to watch him shape the clay on his wheel, and there, “the word of the LORD came to me: ‘O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done?'” (Jer. 18:5). Or how God showed Ezekiel vines and cedar branches and eagles in the forests of Lebanon to give him glimpses of his redemptive work.

This is, I think, where “spiritual” and “natural” revelation meet each other, so that we love the LORD our God with all our heart and both our hands, too.

“I will keep your law continually,

forever and ever,

and I shall walk in a wide place,

for I have sought your precepts.”

~ Psalm 119:44-45

2 thoughts on “Sourdough and the Psalms

  1. I love this reflection; thank you for sharing your Scripture reading experience! What was your inspiration to read it all in two months? Because my sister and I got inspired by Jess Ray to read or listen to the whole Bible in January . . . which was quite the undertaking. I’m so glad I did it, though I took a month and a week to finish. It was a powerful and eye-opening experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks, nikky!

      over in the author conservatory, we’ve been reading through ‘mere chiristianity’ several times, practicing different phases of reading. i realized that while i’ve read the bible at a slow, analytical level (i.e. studying philippians), i’ve never read it at a ‘superficial’ level, where i read it quickly to get a big-picture view.

      two months was intense, so i can’t imagine doing it in one! well done.


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