June 3

The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears open to their cry. Psalm 34:15 

“Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; Knock and the door will be opened for you.” Matthew 7:7

Who are the righteous? The dictionary says that they are people or conduct that is morally right or justifiable, virtuous. We all would like to think that is us, after all we try to be good people. Consider the 34th Psalm. Attributed to David, who was not always so righteous, it starts out with praise and is mostly about deliverance in answer to prayer. Verse 17 says “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.” This seems quite pertinent for the world we find ourselves in right now. Many are crying out; it is good to know that God is listening to all the different cries from many groups of people. Determining who is righteous is not our job. God can figure that out, and He includes far more people in this group than many want to. We only need to know that Go does see us and hear us, and all the other people too when we cry out. When we are in grief, feeling angry, or in pain and He is there to help and deliver us from our troubles.

Are we then to just sit and bask in the knowledge that God is seeing and listening? Jesus tells us that we do need to do something. We need to ask, we need to search, and we need to knock on doors to get them to open. We need to regularly pray with our concerns, and thanks. Right now, it may seem like all we have are troubles – a global pandemic, continuing white privilege that devastates our society, violence mixed in with the peaceful protestors.  

I am doing a daily meditation designed to be listened to on a 30-minute walk for 21 days, focusing on a different black woman each day. Today, the focus is Shirley Chisholm. She certainly knew about being active as a Congresswoman, and potential presidential candidate. Two of her quotes: “You don’t make progress by standing on the sidelines.” “Service is the rent you pay for room on this earth.” She also talks about finding healing while doing the work we need to do. I am encouraged by what I see so many people doing now, coming together to clean up streets and damaged business. Being present and in solidarity with all others.  Bringing in lots and lots of food and other donations for example 20,000 bags when 87 were requested. They asked and they received. This sounds like God providing enough for all, so much that it overflows. Plus, many are searching and working for structural changes in our institutions to bring us all into the world that was planned for us. One where all share in the abundance and love of God.

Supportive God, we know that you are a loving and constant presence in our hearts; however, there are days when we feel overwhelmed by the darkness all around us. We thank you that we can always ask, search and knock through our prayers to You.  Help us to experience your light and powerful presence as we seek to do your will this day. Forgive us when we doubt your plan forgetting that you are always near.  In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen

Chris Gabel