Dr. Peter Kreeft gave an amazing talk last night @ William & Mary to a packed auditorium, literally overflowing with students sitting on the floor, in the aisles, standing along the walls. How cool is that? On a Friday night? During my university years I seem to recall attending to many social obligations on Friday nights? For so many students to spend a Friday night listening to a philosopher & theologian is so inspiring (& encouraging!)
It will take awhile to process what he shared in 90+ minutes – so much, so deep! Mercy and justice, a topic of great interest to this former relief & development worker who struggled for years overseas to raise awareness of injustices (& change laws, systems, & people perpetuating them.)
Chatting afterwards with friends about that struggle – to be loving & merciful while working for justice in places where lopsided power oppressed people with no rights (at times standing between gun-toting soldiers & children) – it’s a conundrum.
Sometimes breaking the bonds of injustice & setting captives free, as God asks in Isaiah 58, requires tough love. Do you give an alcoholic another drink? Or do you say, “because I love you, i’m not giving you what is causing (or will cause) your downfall?”
Ditto that concept in seeking to hold folks accountable for actions (like facing off with soldiers shooting children, “yo! these children are beloved of God – just like you!”)
So much more to mull over … but alas, more social obligations on the calendar (my brother & i are celebrating his early birthday by going to a Virginia Symphony concert this evening, preceded by celebratory morsels…)
Contemplating the antics of Virginia, the Relief & Development Worker, hopefully these words shared from a much younger Virginia in an overseas journal might bless you today (& isn’t it funny that car troubles can get you down wherever you may be found??)
December 18, 1994
Rejoice always in the Lord. Let your gentleness be evident to all. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God, and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Jesus Christ. Philippians 4:4
Lord Jesus, I come before you both anxious and depressed. My life seems quite the mess at the moment with uncertainties, wandering thoughts… and now even car troubles to boot. My roots in You have become shallow & I am losing these battles, trying (or rather not trying) to look to You for strength and peace in all these things.
BE GENTLE. Yet this crab liveth and walketh, trampling all in her path.
REJOICE. Crabs have a hard time in that department.
DO NOT BE ANXIOUS. I’m freaking out.
Lord Jesus, I place these frustrations before You… & ask Your forgiveness for not turning to You in ALL things, and for being such a grouchy crab. Please fill me with Your peace and joy. St. Paul said, “all things work together for good for all those called according to Your purposes.” Show me Your purpose, Lord, in my life & please deliver more peace and joy…. (more grace & love & mercy would be good, too!)
in Your Name, Lord Jesus, Amen.
Virginia : )
p.s. isn’t it comforting to know that as the cracks in our clay pots get wider, there’s more room for the Light of Christ to shine through?? : )