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As You Have Trusted


Psalm 102 (Coverdale)

14For your servants love her very rubble, * and are moved to pity even for her dust.

2 Kings 19:1-20 (CJB)

20 Then Yesha‘yahu the son of Amotz sent this message to Hizkiyahu: “Adonai the God of Isra’el says: ‘You prayed to me against Sancheriv king of Ashur, and I have heard you.’

1 Corinthians 9:16-27 (CJB)

24 Don’t you know that in a race all the runners compete, but only one wins the prize? So then, run to win!

Matthew 8:1-17 (CJB)

13 Then Yeshua said to the officer, “Go; let it be for you as you have trusted.”

 

It occurred to me today that it’s likely that I’ve been doing a bit of compartmentalizing. Since there are three readings and a psalm in the Daily Lectionary, I usually take each one separately, (often neglecting the Psalm) find the resonant phrase, and then write down my reflection of each individually.

Something moved me to review some sources on the practice of Lectio Divina, and as I was pondering the steps (reading, reflecting, responding, and resting) they rolled over and showed me a new face. This new face is watching me with great interest to see what I will end up writing on this page. Let’s see….

*****

Loving the rubble, walking in the ruins, sitting down in the middle of the ghost town’s dusty street. Pitying the echoes from the empty houses, the weeds growing through the cracks in the walls, the dry grass shaking in the wind.

**

The prophet sends the message no matter whether we want to hear it. The prophet is the one who says, “God has heard you.” So what does that imply? I think this depicts the prophetic voice perfectly. Prophets hear the voice of God, but that isn’t what makes them prophets. What makes them prophets are the words they distill from that silent surge of understanding; the unrelenting messages they are moved to give. They are called “prophets” by the ones who withstand their ferocious empathy, who squirm in the glare of their ruthless insight. I don’t think the title “prophet” is intended as a compliment.

**

Run to win! I’m sure that Paul is not talking about grace, or salvation, or winning a prize reserved for only one winner. No, the clue is in his phrase, “Run to win.” He’s not really talking about prizes at all. He’s talking about the disciplines of practice, as an athlete would train for a race. He’s comparing Christian practice to physical conditioning. He makes the point very clearly that the goal is different, that the athlete’s physical conditioning is a temporary thing for a short-term goal, but the Christian’s spiritual conditioning is an ongoing work from an eternal perspective.

**

“Let it be for you as you have trusted.” Yowza!
The problem with the word “faith” is that it’s a noun. You can’t say, “Faith me.” On the other hand, you can say, “Believe me,” and “Trust me.” Verbs are good. Adjectives too. If you turn “faith” into an adjective, you get “faithful,” along with some nifty synonyms like “loyal” and “steadfast.” I think I’m onto something here.

*****

So I’m going to go with the flow. Literally. 

 

The sorrow of still loving something that has been destroyed, walking through the desolate remains—

flows into flinching at the harsh significance of the message “God has heard you” –

flows into the need to run to win even though there is no prize –

flows into letting everything be ‘as I have trusted’—

flows back around again—

to sitting in the voiceless rubble listening to mercy shaking the grass in the wind.

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