“Then King David went in and sat before the Lord, and said…”
II Samuel 7:18a
Often I would stop by mother’s house just to say “Hello”, and she would point to a chair and say: “Won’t you stay and sit a spell!” I knew what she meant: “Please don’t rush off! Don’t be so busy that you don’t stay and
tell me what’s on your heart, and I will tell you what’s on mine!”
Perhaps it is memories of my mother’s frequent plea that make today’s Scripture text stand out for me. I am intrigued by this remarkable Scripture, as King David actually sits before the presence of the Lord. This is unique for David, as well as for all the ancient Hebrews, whose usual posture before God was to kneel or stand. But here we see David sitting. This caused no little discussion for the rabbis who argued the significance of David sitting in the Divine Presence. They conjectured that David’s sitting must have indicated his longing to “tarry” or “remain” with the Lord.
John Vianney (1786-1859) was a French priest admired for both his personal holiness and the transformaI am not qualified to engage the ancient rabbis with lofty discussion about the nuance of a Hebrew word, but I must tell you that there is a chair in our house where I go to sit a spell with God. I go there when life stings me, and I can’t make any sense of what is happening. I go there when I am gripped by the wonder of God and His world. I tarry, and in the words of Satchel Page, “Sometimes I sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits.” I resist my innate tendency to busyness and to react to the loud voice of need. I don’t know how I could make it without that place where I go and sit a spell with God.
tion of his parish and community. He observed a peasant who would come into his small church every day and sit on the last bench, apparently doing nothing. One day John Vianney approached the old man and asked what he was doing coming into the church every day and just sitting. The man replied: “I look at the good God, and the good God looks at me”.
King David was doubtless a busy man who had a whole kingdom to run, but still he made it hi
s life’s one ambition to daily be present to God (see Psalm 27:4). You and I are busy too, but let’s take time for sitting a spell with God. Tell Him what is on your heart, and stay and listen for what is on His.
- Go to a place where God’s presence is real to you; your living room, patio, church, chapel, or out of doors.
- Sit quietly, comfortable and relaxed.
- Tell God your desire to be present with Him.
- Become aware of God’s presence and peacefully absorb His love.
- Sit a spell, listening for God, and talking to Him.
- Complete your time with God by praying the Lord’s Prayer.
Grace and peace,
photo by Brian Aydemir