Wednesday of Pentecost 7 – Psalm 123

1 To you I lift up my eyes,
    O you who are enthroned in the heavens!
Behold, as the eyes of servants
    look to the hand of their master,
as the eyes of a maidservant
    to the hand of her mistress,
so our eyes look to the Lord our God,
    till he has mercy upon us.

Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us,
    for we have had more than enough of contempt.
Our soul has had more than enough
    of the scorn of those who are at ease,
    of the contempt of the proud.

As a Mexican American, Lee Trevino was one of the first athletes to break the color barrier into the hitherto very segregated world of golf. Today we are not surprised to see a Tiger Woods or a Michelle Wie competing in the PGA or LPGA. It was quite a deal in the 1960’s when the name Trevino started showing up on the leader board with the likes of Nicklaus and Palmer. In his second year on the tour, he won the US Open, garnering a sizeable prize. By 1970 he was the tour’s leading money winner. With his winnings he bought a new home in a nice subdivision in his native Dallas.

He tells the story that one day, not long after he moved into his new home, he was mowing the lawn when a large Cadillac pulled up. The back window rolled down and the sweet drawl of a southern matron called Trevino to the curb. “How much do you charge to do yard work?” the occupant asked. She obviously thought he was the gardener, not imagining that he might the owner of this nice new home. 

The psalmist says that his soul has had more than enough of the scorn of those who are at ease and of the contempt of the proud. He looks to God for relief, like a servant looks to the hands of a master for relief. He awaits the mercy of God, but while he waits some, who believe themselves to be at ease, scorn him. He is weary of the contempt.

Trevino was gifted not only with excellent golfing skills, but also with a very quick wit. He sized up what was going on immediately and quipped, “Oh, the lady in this house (by this he meant his wife), she lets me sleep with her.” He returned to his lawnmowing and chuckled as the Cadillac sped away. Trevino knew who he was. He was a champion of his sport. He was confident in that. The assumptions of this woman did not really bother him that much. The psalmist lifts his eyes to the heavens. He knows who sits on that throne. He knows the scorn and contempt will end one day. As Paul says, “our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.”  (Philippians 2:20-21)

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