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?
I used to go regularly to Trafalgar Square in central London to chat with people about God, faith & life. On my way back into Soho, I would normally cut through the National Gallery (one of the largest art galleries in the UK) and out of the back door onto Leicester Square. I would take a different route every time so that I could see new paintings. Every now and again I would see a tour guide leading a group around, and would quietly tag along, and then hear things I had never heard before about a painting. I can still remember stuff about Caravaggio’s Supper at Emmaus that I learnt on one of these sneaky tours.
The guide knew where she was going, and knew things I didn’t know. This is what makes a good guide. But there is one thing necessary – that I listened to and followed the guide. I didn’t have to, I could have wandered around on my own.
Psalm 23, such a beautiful & powerful song, contains these words:
The Lord is my shepherd……. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.
What a wonderful promise of guidance. That God will guide us on the right paths. But a few things to note. Firstly, He does this for the sake of His name – not necessarily for the sake of our name. Secondly, if you read on, you’ll notice that we can end up in the “valley of the shadow of death” or “in the presence of our enemies” – following the shepherd does not always mean that it’s going to be easy. Thirdly, and I want to emphasise this, following the shepherd is not a guarantee – it doesn’t just happen automatically. We need to both listen and then follow – it’s not automatic. We want to be guided by the Lord as shepherd – so let’s be listening, let’s allow Him to show us things we didn’t know, let’s recognise that it won’t be easy – but it is the best way to live, it is for His name’s sake – and it will be the best way to live both now and forever.
Have a blessed day. Love Matt