Gingerly. Yet with more conviction than ever.
Everything I see ‘out there’ is a microcosm of my heart. Not always in the same form, but always about the same kinds of issues. My desire to change situations. My need for affirmation and affection. My love of power and control. My constant preoccupation with security and survival. And, I might add, my Greatness.
“Your kingdom come; Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” was never so difficult to pray as it is right now, given what we see and hear every day. This includes what I see and hear in my own thoughts and feelings.
Whether I look into my heart or see it on TV or on my iPad news feed, I’m reminded daily that I have limited power, control, security, and hope for survival.
My prayers don’t guarantee that justice will be done immediately. They do, however, help me stay focused on what really matters to the Most High God, the Creator of heaven and earth, the One who chose to become one of us. To show us how true leaders lead, and how true followers follow.
Below is a Psalm that clarifies exactly what is both needed and woefully rare in politics today. It also clarifies the outcome for leaders who fail to deliver the itemized goods.
In the Psalm, I take the term ‘god’ to mean rulers and leaders who must answer to the Most High God. I strongly suggest you read it out loud, with anger/distress/disbelief or whatever emotion you are able to draw upon from your own experience of injustice and wickedness.
Whatever you do, don’t try to dress it up all pretty and nice. Or explain it away. It’s truth, not fiction or a make-believe game about another time and place. It’s about now. With plenty of comfort and hard words for each of us.
Psalm 82, A psalm of Asaph. (NRSV, small edits by me)
The Most High God presides in the great assembly;
Rendering judgment among the ‘gods’:
“How long will you defend the unjust
And show partiality to the wicked?
Defend the weak and the parentless;
Uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.
Rescue the weak and the needy;
Deliver them from the hand of the wicked.
“The ‘gods’ know nothing, they understand nothing,
They walk about in darkness;
All the foundations of the earth are shaken.
“I said, ‘You are ‘gods’;
You are all children of the Most High.’
But you will die like mere mortals;
You will fall like every other ruler.”
Rise up, Most High, judge the earth,
For all the nations are your inheritance.
© Elouise Renich Fraser, 22 February 2018
Image found at www.provencio.com