Thursday, April 16, 2009

Salt Lake City 25.11.06: Calling Angels and Trumpeting Mountains

Time here is becoming my annual retreat. As I write, I’m facing both the temple and the mountains beyond—the latter far more compelling spiritually, though the trumpeting angel atop one of the temple spires is alluring.

We recently discovered Jane Sidbery’s song “Calling All Angels” on a “Six Feet Under” episode, and I’ve been singing it in my head ever since. And oh my God, is this why I keep running into bizarre characters these days? On the plane, a drunk babbling woman wanting to talk to me. In the LDS library, a crazy worker who began speaking nonsense and fixing me with a stark stare as he did so. Last night after supper, a man panhandling, face framed by a hood, making it look as if he had on a white mask.

I’m ashamed to say I almost ran from him. Running from angels . . . .

Into my obtuse stubbornness, the world of the Lord bursts today in psalm 82: “Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless, maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked. . . . Rise up, o God, judge the earth, for all the nations are your inheritance.”

An ominous psalm, since calling on God to judge the earth means calling on God to judge myself. But a salient, sobering reminder that God does care passionately about justice, in all nations.

And the mountains ring the city, silent sentinels, their deep voices trumpeting ever louder than the angel’s trump, from earth’s depths.

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