I woke up this morning to all the alerts: not only my own alarm, but warnings about flash flooding and plans rearranged and then the burden of these headlines:
- Another shooting and more riots in Charlotte, NC – Lord, when will this end? Heal us, Father. We pray for justice to prevail – for healing that is as real and as deep as the racial brokenness of our country. Give us ears to listen to one another in order to understand, not to judge. Break down all of our defenses through the strength of Love.
- More info on the terrorist suspected of massive plots in NYC and NJ – Father, I’m afraid. It could be our neighborhood next – or our mall.
- An apparently failed ceasefire in Syria – there was an attack on the aid convoy. – Lord, for all of those who need aid and help desperately, find a way. Give courage to the men and women risking their lives to deliver this aid. Let us who live comfortable Western lives not grow numb. Show us how we can help our neighbor, though that neighbor be halfway around the world, and keep us from being blind to the neighbor living next door to us or down the street from us.
This list could go on and on. And our response (or at least mine) is to feel the fear like a pit in my stomach and the instant tension in my shoulders. I want to find a refuge to run to with my family where no harm can touch us, and where we can bring everyone else who needs help with us, too.
I’m not alone in this desire. And there is a refuge promised One Day. Because of this Future Hope, we take comfort in Jesus’ words from over 2000 years ago, and we can serve for justice and peace now.
I want to read the promises side-by-side with the headlines. Jesus brings perspective and best of all – his presence in the promised Holy Spirit to all who find refuge by faith in Jesus.
Because of Jesus’ Presence, I can take a deep breath, go downstairs and hug my children and cook breakfast and serve in my little corner of the world.
Because of Jesus’ Presence, I can be fully involved in the here-and-now while also seeking how I can be part of the global concerns because they affect fellow human beings worthy of dignity since they’re made imago Dei.
Where do you take refuge in these troubled times? How do you balance the reality of the here-and-now demands on your life with the global concerns impacting us?