Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Who Are We Going to Be Today?
Your People are weeping, Lord.
I hear them crying. I hear them calling out and reaching out and screaming out for deliverance. Just like the Israelites of old—the Hebrew people caught in the snare of the Egyptian pharaoh.
They cried and wept for deliverance from their oppression. And you garnered the attention of your servant Moses through the burning branches of a desert bush. In a land where fire would be feared if out of control, for lack of water, you spoke through tongues of flame.
Father, your people are still crying. They are still weeping. They are still reaching. I hear them on a daily basis. I see the woundedness in their faces. I see the pain in their eyes. I hear their silent cries as if they were silent screams in my own head. I see the disease that ravages their bodies—spiritual and physical.
Yesterday I broke. In the early morning I wept hot, hard tears for your people. Crying from a frighteningly deep place. Sobbing for the brokenness, the illnesses and the diseases that plague your people.
All through the day I watched your people hurt. Wounded, wearied, worried, wracked people.
Lost. Lonely. Lacking.
Forgive me for ignoring them. Forgive me for turning my head and changing my path as the priest and the Levite did with the poor beaten man on the road. How often have I chosen to ignore my beaten brother or my robbed sister on the side of the road because it would require too much time or energy? How often have I neglected them because I was too busy with my own agenda and schedule and I squandered an opportunity to be a minister of your grace and mercy? How often have I not wanted to dirty my own hands for fear of association? How many times have I turned on selective hearing and tuned out the cries of people around me?
Even now my words are making me—us—uncomfortable. We don’t want to hear this. We don’t want to be reminded of our own accountability and like the Levite and the priest we justify what we do and don’t do. And we have valid justifications. But justifications are not always good. They may be right according to the law, but they may not be the good thing to do.
And when I ignore the pain and hurt around me, when I choose to not acknowledge the wounded places in people then I am behaving just as the priest and the Levite.
Oh, Father, today don’t allow me to selectively hear. Don’t allow me to walk on by the waylaid, the forlorn or the wounded. Don’t allow me to justify my own callousness, my own numbness.
Your people are crying, Father. And I know the Deliverer. Show me what to do. Give me the strength and the discernment and the wisdom to know what to do for your people. Don’t allow me to turn a deaf ear or a blind eye to the people you have intersect my path.
Not so long ago I was one of those wounded and forlorn people. I have not forgotten the ones who stopped for me. I remember the ones who stooped down and put their shoulders under mine and took me to a place of rest.
Our God has heard their weeping. He has heard their cries.
But the question is: Who are we going to be today?
The Good Samaritan?