“Truths to Live By” (Part 6) – “Don’t Give Up” by Savi Hensman
Working for a more loving, just and non-violent Church and world can be tiring and frustrating.
In my experience and that of many others, even when it appears as if things are moving forward, a setback may follow. It can be hard enough to live by those values oneself, especially since poverty and other forms of inequality and harshness can come to seem inevitable.
At times it can be tempting to give up. In my life and in communities of which I have been a part, there have been times when it felt as if hope were gone.
But we need not rely on our own strength.
The book of Isaiah, quoted in the New Testament, offers a vision of a God who cares deeply for those ill-treated or abandoned by society or even religious institutions. This includes working through a Servant, sometimes identified with the community of faith and, for Christians, with Christ. The Holy Spirit rests on this figure, who will see justice done in the end, whatever the cost to themself, who, out of defeat, will bring victory over all that harms and destroys.
When we pray and strive for God’s realm on earth, there is One greater than ourselves working alongside and in us.
This Companion draws our attention to the cries of those pushed to the margins, steadies us when we are exhausted and, when we go off course, can gently set us right. With the help of the Servant, we can spot signs of hope even in the desert, encourage others too to show compassion and courage in defence of the vulnerable and admit our own need.
The promise of a world where everyone is valued and protected is not just a dream. God is continually at work bringing this into being and supporting us to play our part.
Loving and ever-faithful God, if we feel exhausted or despairing when we are working for a more just, compassionate and non-violent church and world, deepen our trust in you and remind us that we need not rely on our strength alone.