For this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed, and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. ~ Ezekiel 16:49 (NIV)
How many times, O Lord, did I sit silently as Your children huddled in cold homes? How many times did I choose a night of Netflix and Hulu binge watching while my elderly neighbor sat in unending silence? How many times did I choose to waste away in my freedom rather than enter into the hell of incarceration with the suffering, the broken, the hurt, the hopeless?
I cry in outrage as I listen to wealthy men explain why the poor and the elderly are no longer productive–why we should no longer invest in their well-being. I shout at the walls, rage at the news, and greive in my heart for those whose suffering will amplify, for those whose voices will be weakened and ignored.
But as I search my heart this season of Lent–as I pick away at the things that have built up in my heart, in my conscience–the things that have separated me from You, I realize my silence has made me complicit. My comfort made me reluctant to demand Your justice. I sat by, idly, distracted by the things of this world, only to find that the worse had become commonplace. I opened my eyes and saw the shadows of Sodom had engulfed us all. That arrogance and complacency had claimed us all and the poor and the needy were being crushed.
For my silence, forgive me.
For the sins of my complacency, which gave birth to the sins of a selfish, unconcerned society, forgive me.
And give me strength.
The wilderness is a frightening place and my sojourn has just begun, but the weight of a barren place is taking its toll. I yearn for the lush valley, again. I yearn for the peaceful places beside the still waters. I yearn for the bounteous pastures.
But I must finish this journey and stare deep into my own soul. It is there that I confront the darkness of evil, where the devil has hidden in the corners, and I must resist the temptations of my own heart.
In this desolate place, let me find my voice. Let me find courage. Let me find a faith in You and in Your justice. Let me cross this dry place and come out on the other side, declaring that Your Kingdom has come, on Earth, as it is in Heaven. Let me cry the tears You cry for Your hurting children. Let me hear the cry of Your people, calling to You for a justice this world will never give them. And let me be a laborer in Your kingdom.
Forgive me my sins.
And give me a message to carry to the people–a message from Your own heart. Amen.