Hours of school at the kitchen table, alone. Separation from grandparents, friends, church community and other loved ones so they’re not at greater risk. Oppressive systems exposed. The impoverished enduring the most hardship…again.
There is some solace in knowing we’re not the only ones to endure sadness and powerlessness, and witness disproportionate suffering for the vulnerable. History has documented these human experiences since history began. As the saying goes, misery loves company. However, frustration can’t help but follow this fact as time and again we can’t seem to come together when catastrophe strikes. Some profit by devastation while many others lose and lose big. It’s enough to get you down so you stay down.
And yet, something quite different arises when we stand alongside the Biblical witness to these facts of human existence. As we make our way through the book of 2 Corinthians, we hear the testimony of people who have been beaten, persecuted, rejected, and have despaired of life itself. They know the pain of separation and the power of unjust human systems. AND, in these sufferings, they also know the power in the love of God.
It is in catastrophes that God’s presence, God’s love, God’s persistence to create and sustain pour forth from the Source of all life. Ask the Israelites crossing the Red Sea, Hannah at Samuel’s birth or Ezekiel in the valley of dry bones. Paul and Timothy write, “since it is by God’s mercy that we are engaged in this ministry, we do not lose heart (2 Cor 4:1)… God who rescued us from so deadly a peril will continue to rescue us; on God we have set our hope (1:10).”
Don’t give up! Hold on to hope! God’s powerful love is here! Amen?!
See you Sunday…