Psalms 43:1, 2, 3, 4
How can humanity suffer so and still go on? How can we kneel in love to God when we are crushed and beaten, surprised, destroyed, hated? How can we go on?
Good question. As God says to Haggai, “Who is left among you that saw this house in its former glory? How do you see it now? Is it not in your sight as nothing?” Of course, we can all think of a quite literal house, in a sense, no longer in its former glory, which is now “as nothing.”
And the Psalmist asks, “For thou art the God in whom I take refuge; why hast thou cast me off? Why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?” I am stunned by what seems to be the appropriateness of the readings for today to the events of the last week.
I am no theologian.
But God says to Haggai, “ My Spirit abides among you; fear not.” The Angels say to the shepherds abiding by their flocks by night, who were “sore afraid” (King James Version), “Fear not.”
Fear not because no matter what happened, God is with us? Of course. But this goes deeper. Fear not because, as we are made in His image, we can take it. It’s horrible, painful, and grotesque, but God says “fear not.” We grieve, and we are told to “fear not.” We will be afraid, of course, for we are only human. But there is something within humans that can give them the ability to live through horror, to survive in the face of pain, to live lives that are happy and rich in the midst of war. I was listening to a commentator on the radio this morning, who asserted that we must be “thriving” people, who can find life and love through the terror, through the pain. I agree. We can live the lives God wants us to live, we can be good, and funny and crazy and make our way around the obstacles events have placed in our path, because of what and who we are. Not to do so is unthinkable. To do so is, I believe, part of the job—the job of being human.
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