Attune my Ears

Today there was yet another school shooting – this time in Oregon. And on Saturday, three more innocent people were shot in Las Vegas. Even worse, we seem to be getting used to this level of violence in our culture as unavoidable. We think about looking to our political leaders for solutions, but that seems an unlikely source of help. Washington is in gridlock, with politicians from both parties seemingly much more interested in casting blame than in finding reasonable solutions. Our society is dominated by financial, media and political elites, none of whom seem interested in building trust. We live in a society of competing news sources which seem to be more interested in reinforcing the views of their primary constituents than finding truth.

“Help Lord, for there is no longer any that is godly; for the faithful have vanished from among the sons of men. Everyone utters lies to his neighbor; with flattering lips and a double heart they speak. May the Lord cut off all flattering lips, the tongue that makes great boasts, those who say ‘With our tongue we will prevail, our lips are with us; who is our master?’“

Does this sound like any of the political ads you have seen recently? Cynicism about our democratic processes is not a good thing!

“Because the poor are despoiled, and because the needy groan, I will now arise,” says the Lord; “I will place him in the safety for which he longs.” The promises of the Lord are promises that are pure, silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times. Do thou, O Lord, protect us, guard us ever from this generation. On every side the wicked prowl, as vileness is exalted among the sons of men. (Psalm 12)

It is the poor and needy who are most victimized by our current situation, because the powerful seem to be confident in their own ability to tell convincing lies that simply reinforce their own position, but do little to protect those who need it most. I trust that the Psalmist is right and that the promises of the Lord to provide safety to the poor and the needy are promises that are pure. It is clear from this Psalm that God is not worried about the powerful, but about those who are despoiled and who groan.

My prayer today is that I trust in God’s promise to protect us. I don’t want to become cynical and give up. We are blessed to live in a society where we have been given both the freedom and responsibility to govern ourselves.

Lord, please attune my ears to your words and your promises, rather than to the empty words of the powerful who lie to preserve their position and strength. May I use your commitment to caring for the poor and needy to help me recognize the truth among the many narratives that compete for our allegiance. Amen.

David Erickson-Pearson

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