Let My People Go

The battle for inner courage and then for action was on display in the life of Moses. Given his instructions from I AM at the Burning Bush in Exodus 3, he set out to return to the Egyptian royal court and make his one simple, four word request: “Let my people go!”

This is the tension of human history between those who love, crave and have power over other people, and the masses who simply long to be free and live free without interference. This spirit of Pharoah the tyrant is rising again like a foul smell or a painful memory we all thought had gone away. But oh no, he is arbitrarily doubling down as Pharoah increased the work load and reduced the means by which to make it harder: More bricks, less straw. Or, work harder for less; face the lash of the whip more often; increase the sense of hopelessness and defeat and you’ve shown what a big man you are. This time last year they said we would be free. And we are still not free. Next Easter for freedom, or next year in Jerusalem, as faithful Jews pray. The worst part of three weeks to flatten the curve is always the first TWO years!

Continue reading “Let My People Go”

Choosing Life in Suffering

cryingfaceOne of life’s great questions centres not on what happens to us, but how we will live in and through whatever happens.  We cannot change most circumstances in our lives.  I am white, middle class, and I have a good education.  I have not always made conscious decisions about these things.

Very little of what I have lived, in fact, has to do with what I have decided – whom I have known, where I came into the world, what personality tendencies have taken hold.

Our choice, then, often revolves around not what has happened or will happen to us, but how we will relate to life’s turns and circumstances.  Put another way:  Will I relate to my life resentfully or gratefully?

Think of this example:  You and I have crashed into one another on the road.  For me it might create not only serious injury, but also bitter resentfulness.  I may drag through life, saying, “The accident changed everything.  Now I am broken and life is hard.”  You may suffer the same hardship, but say, “Might this moment serve as a call to another way of life?  Might it be an opportunity to master something new, a chance to make my brokenness serve as a witness to others?”

The losses may be non-negotiable.  But we have a choice:  How do we live these losses?  We are called time and again to discover God’s Spirit at work within our lives, within us, amid even the dark moments.  We are invited to choose life.  A key in understanding suffering has to do with our not rebelling at the inconveniences and pains life presents to us.

 

Henri Nouwen, Turn My Mourning Into Dancing, p.12-13

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