(Psalm 84 sounds to me like a pastor in prayer. I hope these thoughts from the Psalm give your prayer life a boost for the next few weeks.) “Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in your house, ever singing your praise.” (Psalm 84:3-4) If anyone ever needed a place of sanctuary, O God, it’s me. Who do I think I am? With all the bravado of Elijah I stand up there alongside your altar and place my hands on the mysteries of the eternal kingdom and lift them up before the assembly of the saints. I sometimes wonder if they see my hands trembling, or my knees buckling as I mount the pulpit and declare, “Thus says the Lord!” Jesus once said that five sparrows sold for two nickels. That seems about right. Most Sundays I feel like I offer up about a nickel’s worth of ministry at your altar. For that sense of overwhelming unworthiness, I thank you, O Lord. I’m starting to learn that sparrow is a good place for me to be. The rhino force of your word is best offered from the frailest feathered messenger so that all will know it comes from you and not from me. If left to my own wisdom, my own insight, my own authority, my own creativity, my own energy, I’d have long ago brought it all to ruin by now. And still you keep inviting me back to your altar. And I love it so. So I’ll be the fortunate one and camp out here. I’ll make your altar my home. I’ll huddle up here in my little nest, knowing that someday soon my time will be through and they’ll shoo me away. But you’ll still remain. Until then, let me be your two cent swallow. I’ll be the blessed one dwelling in the midst of your people, chirping out my squeaky song of praise and blessing, inviting them to sing with me. And they’ll join in the song and we’ll blend our voices together because it’s so clear to me and to them that the blessing off of my lips is certainly not from me, but from the One of whom I sing, who has blessed me to dwell in his temple. You are my King. You are my God. You alone are Lord of hosts. “How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty.” (Next week: Psalm 84:5-7) Are you interested in helping bring a Grace Place Wellness Retreat to your region? We’d love to hear from you. Contact our President/CEO Randy Fauser today to begin exploring the possibilities. Let’s have a conversation about bringing our Church Worker Retreat to your area soon!