Day #18: Praise

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
that I know very well.
-Psalm 139:14

For several years, I worked at a summer camp where the chosen greeting among staff was, “What’s good?” Maybe I was too literal, but I always wanted to reply, “The swimming pool at 2pm. The sound of the birds in the forest. Pickup basketball with the staff after the campers are in bed.” What’s good? It’s a choice to greet each other looking for the best in each other. It’s a question for the heart, a question that begs reframing, gratitude, centering on the most possible part of the day. It’s a greeting that invites you to examine the day for ways to praise. What’s good? The sun rising in 5am brightness. What’s good? The soft mulch making way for my feet when I walk into the woods. What’s good? Me, my body, what it can be. What I love about Psalm 139:14 is that the praise of the Divine is linked to experience of Awe in the self. I praise because I am in Awe of myself. Praise is the act of giving thanks for the experience of awe.

Takeaway: In college, when I took a class called Religion & Sexuality, one homework assignment was to stand naked in front of a mirror for 10 minutes and find as many things as we could to praise in our bodies. This blog is not an Ethics/Theology undergraduate course, though, so I only recommend that if it feels valuable today. Otherwise, find a way to express your praise. Maybe that’s saying out loud all the “wow”s you feel inside. Maybe it’s gratitude to the one person who makes your day an inch better. One of my favorites is to think of one thing you are in awe of and write an ode to that. Be as effusive as you want, it’s your resilience.



Gathering the Stones is providing 40 days of reflections on resilience during Lent. Check back for new reflections every day (except Sundays).

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