– a phrase from Zechariah 4.10
I think I stumbled across this phrase out of a prophet’s book in college, a paraphrase I heard like a whisper over everything I felt was small or insignificant. “Do not despise the day of small things,” became a rallying cry for me to celebrate always, and not shame myself for small victories or days where a chronic illness didn’t keep me down.
It came back up this year, as I neglected to write a post for our second anniversary, a month ago today. I just couldn’t pin my thoughts down, for one, but I also just struggled with celebrating what felt small. Two years, especially the past two years we’ve had as a world—just felt insignificant. Chris and I were celebrating big though: a week-long trip to NYC to see some shows, eat good food, and rest together in a fun city.
It came back up again as I stared down Lent, this season on the church calendar all about lack and limits, thinking about how small my spiritual disciplines feel. I sat at an Ash Wednesday service and wrote a poem fighting back against every ounce of smallness in me.
[Side note: You can read this poem in an email tomorrow if you sign up for my email list & select “poetry” as what you’d like to read.]
And it came up most recently as I read my own version of Psalm 45, a wedding song. It amazed me that a poem like this made it into the Bible. It made me think of a much smaller-scale village wedding that Jesus went to with his mother, where she nudged him towards water jars when the wine ran out.
Here’s my take on the psalm:
A wedding song, a poem for the king & queen— how remarkable to be included here, a poem not about God, in the canon of his words; he chooses poets and pens writing of a royal wedding. Maybe he's not so supremely concerned, high and mighty. Maybe not everything has to be about him, as I was taught, conditioned to worship one so far removed that I had to make everything about him, or else I was selfish and disloyal. Maybe the mundane, the selfish days of weddings and feasts are where he dwells most himself. Did Mary know that in Cana, looking at her son who needed to learn that a wedding was the perfect first move? Her smirk and his teasing perhaps hold more than we know, a miracle within the mundane details of a rural village, a non-royal wedding, was just where God himself wanted to show up?
And I wrote this in reflection, as I reread what I wrote last year: “My own wedding day deserves a psalm—and so does yours…