Monday, 7 May 2018

I am Shielded. Psalm 91:4

  "He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler." NKJV
  "He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection." JCB

  Our church has been following a series from The Meetinghouse entitled, "Peacemakers". I believe it is going to become an annual teaching subject. The Peacemaker topic selected this year is racism. It provided the catalyst for what I am about to share, the poem read in church yesterday.
  It was accompanied by four youth who held up signs, emphasising the points made. Wonderful atmosphere was provided by our pianist playing quietly in the background. Music, somehow, makes words special.
  The writing ties into today's affirmation, too! Lord, I am in awe of how seemingly random events always come together to glorify You.
  I did make one modification this morning because a prejudiced stereotype had found its way in through a slip of the pen. I hadn't picked up on it before. Boy are they sneaky!
  I struggled coming up with a title but failed...A big grin...It would appear being "title-less" fits...

Too fat, too thin, too dark a skin,
Too slight, too bright, too dim,
The other...outside the norm.
It’s labels that enable the enemy of our souls to keep us apart.
Bullied bullies share the pain of outside with fists and words.
Their targets marked by different: too tall, too small, too shy.
Too smart was once their fool and mocked. Now it’s bullies, condemned.
Because geek is chic: the new cool pool that still leaves others outside.
Labels enable the enemy of our souls to keep us apart.
Language, learning, faith, food upon the table,
Employment, enjoyment,
Parentage, heritage...age.
The visible used to classify, to pacify identity, when there’s so much more unseen.
Who is that person, different from me, sitting across the way? Can I see past what I assume?

It’s labels that enable the enemy of our souls to keep us apart.
Yet, we fall for it...I have fallen for it...because it means there’s others just like us, like me; I believed the lie that it is okay to reject others...just like them.
Hollow words silence the heart seeking, belonging longing written into our DNA...But only for a time. Until another label comes along to throw us into despair of ever being one of them.
The “in” crowd wants out. The “out” crowd wants in.
We climb into a box, pretending. Oh, Lord, I’ve done some foolish things...
I’ve built boxes to hold others even though they are waaay too small to contain life.
Forgive us, Lord...forgive me,
Help us let go of labels, the poison arrows we aim at ourselves and each other.
Let the Cross cross out prejudices, those insidious, sneaky, thoughts and words, which enable the enemy of our souls to keep us apart.
Because, Jesus,
You came to bring us together, to fill the gift Your Father gave of belonging longing with the Lightness of Being.
Because, Jesus,
You came to bring us home where suspicion, derision, condemnation, and judgement become the real outsiders who don’t belong.
You came to put a new label on everyone’s custom made packaging.
Written in Holy Blood,
Written with love, acceptance and grace,
Written with permanent, eternal, unfading ink,
“Contents: 1 child of God. Batteries included.”


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