March 17

After yesterday’s challenge to readers to consider their work as bringers, binders and proclaimers – I feel compelled to offer some conditions to this opportunity. We as individuals are not charged with doing ALL THE WORK ALL THE TIME.   Remember how we are always talking about the concept of community? This is a vital principle to keep in mind as we read these words:


The Lord God’s spirit is upon me,
    because the Lord has anointed me.
He has sent me
    to bring good news to the poor,
    to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim release for captives,
and liberation for prisoners,
    to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and a day of vindication for our God,
    to comfort all who mourn,
    to provide for Zion’s mourners,
    to give them a crown in place of ashes,
    oil of joy in place of mourning,
    a mantle of praise in place of discouragement.
They will be called Oaks of Righteousness,
    planted by the Lord to glorify himself.
They will rebuild the ancient ruins;
    they will restore formerly deserted places;
    they will renew ruined cities,
    places deserted in generations past. Isaiah 61:1-4 CEB


One thing that the scriptures say Spirited people do is “comfort all who mourn”. Some folks are uniquely equipped to sit with the suffering of others. If you are one of those people, this is a sacred call. Not everyone in our community will be able to do that work. Some of us are sunny side up people – looking for ways to highlight the bright side of life – and I am so glad these folks exist in the world. But it is probably not optimal to send a sunny side of life kind of person to sit with a family whose loved one is within 72 hours of passing on.

I see two things we can all do right now, today, that would be extremely helpful:

  1. Be honest with ourselves (this will require outside voices) about who we are and what part we are best suited to fill in this work. And then do that thing when the need presents.
  2. Ask God (and others) to help us shore up our weaknesses. We cannot use our proclivities as an excuse to not ask God to help us improve our serve.

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