by Georgie Schuster
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‘He has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners’ (Isaiah 61:1b).
We are still negotiating our way through a world st(r)ained with COVID-19 and, suddenly, another hit. Through the pleading words of ‘I can’t breathe’, injustice finds its voice (again) and bottled up emotion spills over. Desperate cries of ‘Can you see my/our pain? Please hear me!’ seek answers. Anger, frustration and fear mix together and soon destruction, disrespect for property and life follow. Anarchy.
How do we react to this? Do we shake our heads and distance ourselves? Is it just ‘too difficult’ to even know where to start?
The world Jesus entered was hostile and hard. There was a sense of helplessness as many people lived at the mercy of others. Yet, time and again, Jesus came alongside people and situations that were considered difficult. What did he do? He brought his kingdom with him. He entered into people’s stories. He breathed love and hope and brought healing. He made time for people. He listened, recognised and met their needs.
Many lines are relevant in Isaiah 61, but I’ll highlight just one: ‘He has sent me to comfort those whose hearts have been broken’.
Can’t we do that?
We have recently celebrated Pentecost. Now more than ever, equipped with the Holy Spirit, we can play our part. We can enter people’s stories by first listening to them and going from there. Imagine what might happen!
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the Holy Spirit. Help us to recognise the precious people you place in our path. Help us to listen, to really listen, and be guided by you with words and actions. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.