When Violence Arises

Our world is enduring a time of great violence in many places. These events challenge our faith: both in what we believe, and in how we live our faith.

The Scripture

Psalm 16
New Revised Standard Translation

Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge.

I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.” As for the holy ones in the land, they are the noble, in whom is all my delight.

Those who choose another god multiply their sorrows; their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out or take their names upon my lips.

The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot.

The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; I have a goodly heritage.

I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me.

I keep the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices; my body also rests secure. For you do not give me up to Sheol, or let your faithful one see the Pit. You show me the path of life.

In your presence there is fullness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Photo of a flower

Reflection by Deborah Beach Giordano
June 3, 2017

Psalm 16 ~ Retold

I wrote this prayer/cry to God in response to the attacks in London today, and reflecting on those in Alexandria, Tanta, Al-Fu’ah, Kafraya, Rashidin, and other places too numerous to list.

Holy One, I just want to hide;
to take refuge
in a high and lonely place
where none can find me:

unpopulated,
insulated,
inaccessible,
protected,

safe
from hatred,
and horror,
and violence.

Like a nestling, resting
in a feathered loft
far above the noise,
and claws and teeth,

peace-filled
and untroubled,
unaware and unafraid
of what lies beneath.

If only I could fly
on the wings of a dove
to a tall mountaintop,
or shelter in a forest glen!

Yet even there
troubles will find me,
blood-stained hands
will touch me.

The vicious multiply
our sorrows,
worshiping their gods
of death and pain and fame,

lining our streets
with human sacrifice —
their names
will never pass my lips.

There is no good, God,
apart from You,
keep me secure, right here,
within Your heart;

I shall not flee,
I will not run away,
I will not succumb
to fear or hate or vengeance;

I shall not be moved,
my soul will not be twisted,
I will not turn from the Path
of love and life and light.

Therefore my heart is glad,
and my spirit rejoices,
for I will not fall into the Pit
I will not contribute to Evil.

You, O Beloved,
guide us in the Way of life
that leads to the fullness of joy
forevermore.

Amen.

Virtual hugs and real-time blessings,

Deborah 

Suggested Spiritual Exercises

Be gentle with yourself in these violent times.

The most powerful answer to evil is to do good.

“Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.”