We are taking a break from the Songs of Ascents today in the light of George Pell’s appeal. To those who are suffering, please know we care deeply. We long to do more to help.
When the Israelites were suffering injustice, they expressed their longing for God to turn up and simply be himself:
“In the path of your judgments, Yahweh, we wait for you; your name and remembrance are the desire of our soul.” 1
The Israelites here already know they aren’t perfect. All the same, they want God to come – the all-powerful God – and bring justice. When they talk about his name, they are really meaning his character: what kind of person he is, and what he stands for. They trust him, and wait. They long and yearn for him. Like my kids might long for me to turn up and help when they are out of their depth. Or like the picture in Psalm 131: a child finding sanctuary in its mother’s lap.
A critical difference exists between them and their oppressors. The Israelites expect to have some learning and growing to do. They welcome it. They also know that some will resist:
“Though grace is shown to the wicked, they do not learn righteousness; even in a land of uprightness they go on doing evil.”2
Those who are entitled, abusive, & narcissistic do not want to change their ways.
That longing for God to turn up and bring justice is something many of us can relate to. On a day when many victims will be struggling, afraid, and even despairing, we can pray for justice and safety. We can act, as much as we have the capacity, to align ourselves with God in hatred of abuse, and support of those who suffer.
Here are some things you might be able to do to care for others or yourself
- Stay connected, as best you can. Abusers love to keep victims isolated.
- Stay alert. Are you concerned about the wellbeing of someone you know? Pay attention to those cues.
- If you are worried someone might be experiencing abuse, or are struggling yourself, try 1800 RESPECT or another agency. Even if you are unsure what is going on, they can help you work out what to do, or just listen to you.
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