Normal Behavior

There is a lot of hatred flowing through our nation and our world; it can be seen everywhere. Hate, scorn, and even violence can begin to seem normal, natural; as if that’s just how life is lived. It isn’t. We have been given a different, better Way to follow.

The Scripture

Psalm 5
New Revised Standard Translation

Give ear to my words, O Lord; give heed to my sighing. Listen to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to you I pray. O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I plead my case to you, and watch.

For you are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil will not sojourn with you. The boastful will not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers. You destroy those who speak lies; the Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful.

But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love, will enter your house, I will bow down toward your holy temple in awe of you.

Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness because of my enemies; make your way straight before me. For there is no truth in their mouths; their hearts are destruction; their throats are open graves; they flatter with their tongues.

Make them bear their guilt, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; because of their many transgressions cast them out, for they have rebelled against you.

But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, so that those who love your name may exult in you.

For you bless the righteous, O Lord; you cover them with favor as with a shield.

Photo of a flower

Reflection by Deborah Beach Giordano
July 18, 2016

A Prayer for Safe-Keeping

Psalm 5 ~ retold by Deborah

God, You’ve got to listen; We’re in the middle of a deadly storm. Can’t You hear me, Lord? I’ve been calling and calling to You.

Every morning I plead and pray, trying to convince You to act …..
and I wait.

You are not a God who delights in evil, You won’t tolerate injustice. Bullies don’t impress You; threats won’t dissuade You; You see through every pretense and all lies.

You despise wickedness. Your holy, redeeming power destroys hatred and brings ruin to the violent.

I will not succumb, despite the temptation to despair; I will not give in to the enticements to hate, to scorn, and to fear.

I will resist the siren song of anger, the thrill of vengeance, the smug satisfaction of “getting even.”

Instead I will look to You, O Gracious, All-Merciful One. My life will be different because of Your generous, unfailing love. I will remember Your teachings and walk in Your Way; no matter how intently evil pursues me, I will not give in.

I will take refuge in You.

Lead me, O Radiant Light, along the path of justice and peace — despite my enemies; clear the way for me.

Servants of destruction, they seek to hurt and harm, to wound and to shatter, to break apart and cut down. Their souls twisted by hatred, their words are filled with venom, their minds poisoned by envy, rage, and fear. Do not let me fall, O Kindest Savior, into that living hell.

Let them stand accused, O God, by their own words; and give, as witnesses, the suffering they bring upon the earth and the damage they do to their own souls. Then I can judge what is right and best, and resist any urges to do as they’ve done.

And let those who seek You, find You: in gentle smiles, in peaceful sighs, in kindnesses given and received.

Protect us with Your love throughout the storms of hate; gives us the strength and the wisdom to take shelter in one another.

Amen.

Virtual hugs and real-time blessings,

Deborah

This Week’s Suggested Spiritual Exercise

There is a lot of hatred flowing through our nation and our world; it can be seen everywhere. Hate, scorn, and even violence can begin to seem normal, natural; as if that’s just how life is lived. It isn’t. We have been given a different, better Way to follow.

What tempts you to fall into the hell of hatred?