Maybe it was just one of those mornings, or a touch of the post-holiday blues. Or maybe my coffee hadn't had time to do its magic yet. But for whatever reason, when I read a certain verse recently, it just rubbed me the wrong way.
On any given day, if you asked me if I believe the Word of God, I'd say yes. And if you asked me if I love the Word of God, affirmative again. But when I hit verse 6 of Psalm 68, I got stuck. I just wasn't feeling it. I didn't see how it was true in my life. And to be honest, I felt a little gypped by God. I thought maybe someone should remind him of his promise, and I figured I might as well be the one to do it.
Here's the line that tripped me up: "God places the lonely in families" (Psalm 68:6).
Ever since I was a girl, I dreamed about the family I'd be placed into someday. I'd marry a dashingly handsome man and have two charming kids (and yes, I already had their first and middle names picked out). Thus far, my life hasn't taken that course … which is probably just as well, since the names I picked out at age nine would have inflicted torture on helpless children. Still, the truth remains that I haven't been placed in the kind of family I conjure up when I read that line in the Psalms.
For some reason, the no-family hole seems particularly gaping around the recent holiday season. Maybe it's because of those ubiquitous diamond jewelry commercials that make you feel like everyone else has someone to love. Or those holiday parties where all the other guests leave arm-in-arm with a special somebody while you head home solo to a dark, empty house. Or maybe it's those family get-togethers where the relatives rib you yet again about your lack of someone to stand under the mistletoe with. Or maybe it's just the general coziness of the twinkly lights and the coupley lyrics of "Let It Snow." In any case, I feel my family-less state even more keenly around the holidays and during the post-holiday lull we're in right now.1