Oppressed

“…help those who are oppressed…”

photo“Stop all this evil that I see you doing. Yes, stop doing evil and learn to do right. See that justice is done—help those who are oppressed, give orphans their rights, and defend widows.” (Isaiah 1:16-17)

Since last Friday I’ve been keenly aware of the “have’s” and “have not’s.”  Everywhere people are gathered folks can be heard asking one another,
“Do you have power?”  The violent storm that raged through the area Friday evening left unbelievable devastation in its wake.  I’ve felt a little strange answering that question, maybe even a little embarrassed, because I’m one of the “have’s.”  Our power was not interrupted so we’ve been able to paint our new parsonage and unpack from the recent move in the comfort of a cool house.It’s a strange mixture of feelings to be aware of one’s blessings while others are struggling.  It’s a rumbling blend of helplessness, guilt, sadness, and embarrassment as well as relief and joy.  How can I not feel relief when it’s almost 100 degrees outside but the temperature inside my house is only 70 degrees?  I give thanks for the relief and also give thanks for the more disturbing side of the feelings.  This crisis reminds me that on too many occasions I’ve probably become too complacent in my blessings and forgotten those who inhabit the land of “have not” on a daily basis.

Isaiah was delivering God’s indictment against the Israelites when he said, “Stop all this evil that I see you doing.  Yes, stop doing evil and learn to do right.  See that justice is done – help those who are oppressed, give orphans their rights, and defend widows.”  Maybe the evil we do sometimes is simply becoming too complacent in our blessings while others suffer.

I’m glad that God has disturbed me this week in the midst of my blessings.  I don’t ever want to become complacent and numb.  I pray that God will not only continue to disturb me, but also empower me to seek justice for all.  How about you?

Blessings and Peace,
Gary
Pastor, Cross Lanes United Methodist Church
Cross Lanes, West Virginia

Help save lives! For more information on my new book, “A Relentless Hope: Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression,” visit www.survivingteendepression.com.
Check out my new video, “Teens Surviving the Storm”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1hSpxC_G24
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~ by revgenelson on July 4, 2012.

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