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Then shall your light break forth

“Then shall your light break forth like the dawn,

and your healing shall spring up speedily;

your righteousness shall go before you;

the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.”

(Isaiah 58:8 ESV)

What will bring about our light? What will speed our healing? Offering that cup of cold water. Seeking to end injustice–that which we carry out and that which we see carried out by others. Not turning our back on our own flesh.  Bringing the poor into our homes. (Isaiah 58: 6-7)

This is scary stuff. I mean, surely, God isn’t seriously saying we should bring the poor into our homes. Isn’t that dangerous? I guess offering that cup of cold water is easy enough, except when it’s inconvenient, but inviting people into our homes? Speaking out against injustices we see around us? That is not safe.

Yet, this is what we are called to as believers. It’s not really optional. And the result is a beautiful, though messy, healing of our own brokenness. As we allow ourselves to be vessels of God’s wellspring of love, grace and mercy–for truly we cannot draw love, grace or mercy out of our own wellspring for we have not enough even for ourselves–He reaches in and works His grace and mercy in the dark corners of our lives. What is there to fear in that? Yet, I admit, I am greatly afraid. Perhaps, this is because I do not trust that God will heal me nor do I trust that He will protect me from the risks of loving others. And so, I pray:

Lord, You know my heart. You know my thoughts and every anxious way in me. I desire for my light to break forth. I also desire to be a part of your work of justice as described in Isaiah 58. But I am afraid. You ask what seems like more than I can give–to give up my fear, to share my space, time, family, resources and life with others in a way that makes me vulnerable. Yet, You did this and more through Your Son, Jesus. And so, I place my trust in You. Open my eyes to see the tangible ways that I can live this life of justice, love and mercy, and give me courage to obey. Thank you that as I obey, You will bring about Your purposes, bringing healing both to others and to myself, and then my light shall break forth and my healing will come.

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