In the midst of storms–of winds and of words–Rev. Benton Heisler suggests it is time to slow down, stand back and listen for God.
REV. BENTON HEISLER
Director of Connectional Ministries, West Michigan
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble. Therefore we need not fear, though the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam… the Lord God is with us…Be and know that I am God.” (Psalms 46: 1, 2, 7 & 10)
The recent hurricane has devastated Haiti, a country already ravaged by so many other forces of nature and the historic exploitation and corruption of humankind. UMCOR is already in motion and regular updates and links will appear through our various MI Area Communications avenues.
Each of us has been blessed to be a blessing. Moments like these that have deluged Haiti and the eastern coast of the USA with winds and rain are our opportunities to become the blessing of refuge and strength to others. Please give generously as opportunities present themselves over the coming months.
This recent storm is not the only “trouble” any of us face. We sit by the bed of our critically ill child, parent, sibling, spouse or friend. We listen with empathy to the story of financial crises one of these same relationships has or it is the “financial trouble” we face personally. The constant barrage of political stories outline a negative history of, unethical, immoral, illegal, and suspicious activities and, what’s worse, you are not even sure which presidential candidate I am referencing. Our collective confidence, in the capacity of the Senate or House to be the “people’s voice and representation” for finding compromise and common solutions, has been paralyzed for years.
The previous common understanding of improving communication was “praise publically and criticize privately.” Facebook seems to have eliminated persons’ communication filters in regard to accuracy, honesty, finding the common good and replaced those filters with unfettered feelings, a disregard of facts and a capacity to incite a negative tenor to any number of topics for discourse. We are all entitled to our opinions, I am simply convinced that our opinions we intend to post publically as Christians need to reflect an image of Christ that is rooted in Grace, filled with Compassion and strives to demonstrate and speak the truth in Love so that people experience God in ways the world cannot even begin to imagine.
“Come and see the works of the Lord, the desolations God has brought on the earth. God makes wars to cease…God breaks the bow and shatters the spear…God burns the shields with fire.” God speaks a word of admonition to us, “Be still and know that I am God (Psalm 46: 8-10).”
After all the storms of last week and the “hurricane of presidential debate words” Sunday evening, it may be good for us to just “be still” and listen for God’s guiding of our next steps.
~“If you make my Word your home, you will indeed be my disciples. You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:13 New Jerusalem Bible) Each article I write for this column is based in the guidance of a particular Scripture passage. I trust these reflections and information will assist you in your own witness and service as a Disciple of Jesus Christ.