Photo credit: NiagraFallsLive. In 1901 Annie Taylor was the first person to go over Niagra Falls.
Recently I was reading Psalm 42, the subtitle of which is “Longing for God and His Help in Distress”. Overall, the psalm is a picture of inundation of grief and despair, water imagery flowing throughout the course of the psalm. What caught my eye was the use, in verse 7, of the word cataracts:
“Deep calls to deep
at the thunder of your cataracts;
all your waves and your billows
have gone over me.”
Catarata is the Spanish word for waterfall, which is the old fashioned use of the word in the psalm in the English NRSV translation.
When the river is full, the deluge is constant, pounding, a cloudy curtain of water pouring unimpeded into the pool below, spray rebounding forcefully. When there’s a drought, the falls slow to a trickle.
How this is like a veil of tears, obscuring one’s ability to see, the lens of the eye dry and gritty, forming a cataract of sorrow.
Today, I have gone over the edge, albeit in a barrel, bouncing around up and down. Psalm 42 ends with the refrain, “Hope in God: for I shall again praise him, my help and my God.” I know this to be true.
Birthday Blessings to my baby sister MCVWasHere. May this be your best year yet!