The first casualties of upheaval can be love, kindness, and patience. But crisis is also a moment when love for God & one another can spring up. For 150 days, starting on 17th March 2020, I will write 300 words based on one of the 150 psalms in the bible. How can I find and give love in the midst of coronavirus?
My grandparents were servants. As young adults, they both lived in large houses and served the families who employed them. My grandmother was a housemaid, and my grandfather a gardener.
I have never had to serve in this way. I worked for 3 years serving burgers in a ten-pin bowling alley. I got very good at cooking chips and flipping beefburgers. The boss was a Czech man with a big personality and a bigger mouth. I wanted his approval and did what he asked. From time to time he would give us bonuses – and I was always happy to do the things he asked. Because I liked and respected him.
The writer of Psalm 123 either knows what it is to be a servant or to be someone who employs servants or owns slaves.
1 I lift up my eyes to you, to you who sit enthroned in heaven. 2 As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a female slave look to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, till he shows us his mercy.
A servant, and even more a slave is dependant upon their master or mistress. They depend upon them for wages, for food, for accomodation and for favour. And you have to wait until they give it to you – they are in charge.
Our Psalm takes this image and says we need to be like this with God. We are His servants, and we come to him looking for favour – for mercy. And it seems that the writer is under pressure from others, things are not good, they are being ridiculed.
3 Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy on us, for we have endured no end of contempt. 4 We have endured no end of ridicule from the arrogant, of contempt from the proud.
It’s in these moments that we need to look to God. We are servants (diakonos – deacons – in Greek) – we are meant to keep going, keep serving, and looking to God for mercy, knowing that sometimes we will need to wait.
So I encourage myself, and you today – especially if you are under pressure. Look to God, look to the master, look to the King – the one who is enthroned in the heavens – and ask Him for mercy.
Have a blessed day.