This devotional is a little different. I write it full of humility, knowing there is nuance to each situation that I cannot cover in this piece. It is not meant to give clear, step-by-step instruction for any one particular situation, but rather give us an extra filter to sort things through. My hope is that it causes us to pause and think in situations where we may not have done so before.
I used to get agitated when I saw a group of people who I identify with in some way–whether that identification is by choice or not–publicly rebuked en masse.
“He has broken my teeth with gravel;
he has trampled me in the dust.
I have been deprived of peace;
I have forgotten what prosperity is.
So I say, ‘My splendor is gone
and all that I had hoped from the Lord.’
I remember my affliction and my wandering,
the bitterness and the gall.
I well remember them,
and my soul is downcast within me.” – Lamentations 3:16-20
The book of Lamentations is the prophet Jeremiah’s lament–an expression of mourning and grief–over the fall of Jerusalem. Through Jeremiah, the Lord prophesied the destruction that was to come upon Judah and Jerusalem because they had turned away from God. Jeremiah saw what was coming because of the sin of the people and then lived to experience the consequences.
“As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, ‘Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!’
The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, ‘Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!’
Jesus stopped and called them. ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ he asked.
‘Lord,’ they answered, ‘we want our sight.’
Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.” – Matthew 20:29-34