Tears don’t come easily for me. My indignation rises when I hear of godlessness and injustice, but do my deeply held convictions really grip my heart? So I was thrilled the other day when God granted me the gift of tears. I had just been thinking about the travesty of unborn babies being ripped apart for the convenience of their mothers and/or the insistence of family members and for the sake of abortionists’ greed in accordance with our society’s high value of sexual license. Then unexpectedly I found my tears mingling with the dishwater there at the sink, sobbing at the fate of those precious children! Thank you, Lord, for giving me tears!
Lord, please give me tears often to cry…
…for my brothers and sisters imprisoned and tortured for your sake.
…for women and children in slavery, exploited by cruel, greedy, and lustful men.
…for hearts so hard as to do these things to others.
…for unborn children bring torn limb from limb every day.
…for people longing for the freedom I take for granted.
…for my self-centeredness.
…for the cold, hungry and homeless.
…for those who have never known the true love of a mother, or father.
…for the poverty of my love for you and others.
…for those existing day by day with no hope of heaven to give meaning to their lives.
Your kingdom come
Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven!
Indignation, and admittedly fear, welled up in me as I read news this morning of repression, oppression, injustice, vindictiveness and vile wickedness perpetrated by those who have power over others. Some say, “Does God care?” I discovered a wonderful blog this week http://ourrabbijesus.com/articles/mr-spocks-god-mistake-of-western-theology/ where the author addresses the question of whether God is impassive or passionate. She quotes Rabbi Abraham Heschel:
Man’s sense of injustice is a poor analogy to God’s sense of injustice. The exploitation of the poor is to us a misdemeanor, to God it is a disaster. Our reaction is disapproval; God’s reaction is something no language can convey.
She goes on to say–
God is not indifferent or disinterested—he’s an Arab father who is crushed by his son’s apparent lack of love [as in the parable of the prodigal son]. God is a mother bear who roars a warning if you get too close to her cubs. God is a jilted boyfriend who’s beside himself when he spots his true-love on another guy’s arm. Israel’s God is not less emotional than we are, he is even more. (brackets mine)
So how should I respond when I hear about terrible injustices and even fear that the same things might eventually be perpetrated on me or those I love? In Psalm 52, David’s heart cries out against Doeg (see the story in 1 Samuel 21-22) who had betrayed him, predicting how God would one day bring him to ruin, drag him out of his tent, uproot him from the world of the living and shame his memory. Then as David winds down, he calms his own heart with these words:
But I am like a luxuriant olive tree in the house of God.
I trust in the covenant-loyalty of God forever and ever.
I will give you thanks forever for what you have done.
And I will hopefully and expectantly wait for you…