Tag Archives: Spiritual Writing
“’Because of the oppression of the weak and the groaning of the needy, I will now arise,’ says the Lord. ‘I will protect them from those who malign them.’ And the words of the Lord are flawless, like silver refined in the furnace of clay, purified seven times.” (Psalm 12:5-6)
The promises of God to the poor and the oppressed are pure and flawless; they will never fail. Every promise that He gives will stand and remain no matter what it comes up against. Nothing can ever rob these promises or change the way in which He sees the poor and the oppressed. He will rise on their behalf and fight for them.
This is the truth that refugees ought to stand on; that in spite of the great injustices committed towards them, God sees, He cares, and He redeems. We can bank all of our lives and effort on this reality. God is present in these lives; we just need to find him and see what He is already doing.
This is what I want to do. I want to find God in the midst of human suffering and agony, and see what He is doing, how He is redeeming all things to mself, and how He is bringing beauty. We so often see these situations and are overwhelmed but I believe it is much more powerful to find the beauty within them and to be changed by it.
“The Lord is King for ever and ever; the nations will perish from his land. You hear, O Lord, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed in order that man who is of the earth, may terrify no more.” (Ps. 10:16-17)
I received an email from a Congolese friend this morning. He shared the latest challenges and injustices that have taken place the last few months: erupting volcanoes destroying parts of the village of Sake, a town which I visited when I was in Congo; gas levels that continue to rise in Lake Kivu, potentially gassing people near the shore to death; refugees moved out of camps and forcefully sent back to their homes, which are still unsafe because of the rebels. The list goes on and on.
I am also reading an excellent book about the occupation in Iraq, and the injustices that millions of Iraqis have faced since the collapse of Saddam’s regime. These stories are heart wrenching. As I am looking into working with Iraqi refugees this summer in Jordan, my heart is burdened with the stories of these Iraqis and the injustices that they have endured.
But there is a song of justice for those who are afflicted. The Lord defends the fatherless and the oppressed. As I read about the injustices in Congo and Iraq this morning, my heart needs to sing and speak this song over these war-torn and broken lands. He hears, and is bringing justice and redemption to these lands…
In every situation there is beauty to be discovered. I feel like this is an invaluable lesson that photography has taught me, time and time again. It has taught me to see and to search out beauty in every situation in life. While it might be personally easier to seek out beauty in places like Congo or the Middle East because I know that they hold beauty even if many do not expect to find it there, I am finding that beauty is just as powerful when I come across it in the every-day routine of life, that is when I least expect or look for it.
On this Thanksgiving, I invite you to see and appreciate those beautiful things that surround you.