June 8

“Speak tenderly to Jerusalem and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for.”  Isaiah 40:2

“The creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.”   Romans 8:21

I grew up with the King James Bible.  I recalled (double-checked my old Bible) that the KJ translation of Isaiah 40:2 used the word “warfare” rather than “service”.  That old word speaks to me today, if not tenderly.

Seventy-six years after D-Day, 75 years after WWII ended, the current National Geographic features interviews with some few remaining WWII survivors.  The author sought out not just US soldiers but British, Russian, German, and Japanese; nurses and decoders; Holocaust and bombing survivors.  Different people are quite alike.  Peace treaties signed, hats tossed into the air – for many the war didn’t end.  They relived and dreamed war with all its inhumanity.  A Tuskegee airman said “I just want them to be remembered as good citizens who helped protect their country ‘even in the face of discrimination’.”  There would be such “battles” for decades to come … even to this day. 

Many of us still live and dream the demons of fear and mistrust, having fought in a war or not.  Made in the image of God we can be quite ungodlike.  The human race is not capable of overcoming jealousy and lust for power; greed and misuse of resources without regard for future generations.  Of course, Isaiah was speaking about a Savior … and we surely need one.

If we, as individuals, can’t go into the mix with a shovel and broom, we serve peaceful purpose being open minded, kind and hospitable.  Last Wednesday on my morning neighborhood jaunt I saw something new.  A nearby neighbor had placed a statue of St. Francis by his doorstep … a reminder I need to pray the prayer attributed to St. Francis:

“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.  Where there is hatred, let me bring love.
Where there is offence, let me bring pardon.  Where there is discord, let me bring union.
Where there is error, let me bring truth.  Where there is doubt, let me bring faith.
Where there is despair, let me bring hope.  Where there is darkness, let me bring your light.
Where there is sadness, let me bring joy …”  Amen

Verla Olson