Psalm 25: 1-5
“To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, in you I trust; do not let me be put to shame; do not let my enemies exult over me. Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame; let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous. Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all day long.”
Just about every time I turn on the TV or read some article online, there is a politician, religious leader, or commentator making some disparaging remark about a person or viewpoint with whom they disagree. That definitely was happening with the Trayvon Martin case a couple of weeks ago. And it’s going on now with Reza Aslan’s book, Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. Too often the words are mean, violent, and deny the very humanity of the other. There have been times when words like that have been flung my way and I usually want so very much to strike back.
Then I try to remember, like the psalmist says, that the ways we act during conflict may not be God’s ways. While striking back against an enemy or against hurtful words might feel good at first, I suspect God’s way is a path that shows our enemies that we live differently – a way that shows God’s presence in the world – a sign of love, lived through us. It’s not an easy task, but living in the path of God never is.
PRAYER: God, when we are feeling overwhelmed in a world of chaos, hurt, and struggle, show us, teach us, guide us, and make yourself known to us so that we may follow your way. Amen.