Lead me on
You can't be a social activist without being a contemplative." These words of the author Jim Wallis (God's Politics) really struck me recently. It re-affirms this idea that worship and justice cannot be separated - they are two sides of the same coin. In loving the poor, the weak and abused we are in fact loving Jesus.
In spending time contemplating the beauty, wonder, faithfulness and might of God we are inspired to love as He loves, to be full of compassion in the way He is.
When we look at the world, marred by pain and brokenness, a world in which people murder, rape and destroy, we can lose any sense of hope. The Nazi camp survivor, Corrie Ten Boom, who was exposed to the most horrific injustices once said, "If you look at the world, you'll be distressed. If you look within, you'll be depressed. If you look at God you'll be at rest." In worship our perspective changes. Our minds are renewed, our souls are refreshed and our hearts begin to believe again. It's in the presence of God that we are empowered to be a people that make a difference.
The great Martin Luther King, leader of the civil rights movement was at the forefront leading the justice struggle. But do you know his favourite song? A song called 'Precious Lord' by Thomas A. Dorsey. (As a side note this was written after Dorsey's wife tragically died during childbirth along with his new born son. In the midst of such heartbreak he turns to God and pens this beautiful song of adoration and trust.)
Precious Lord, take my hand.
Lead me on, let me stand.
I am tired, I am weak, I am worn.
Through the storm, through the night
Lead me on to the light
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me on.
I would have pictured him singing songs that roused faith and fight - 'Onward Christian Soldiers' or 'We are marching in the light of God.' But no, it was a simple song of trust and surrender, a song of intimacy. Martin Luther King no doubt was inspired time and again in Christ's presence.
I'm desperate to grow in love, compassion and thoughtfulness towards others. I don't want to end up selfish and secure - safe in my kingdom of comfort. I want to serve God and serve those in need all around, whatever the cost. My hope is that as I spend more time seeking God, He will give me all I need to step out of my comfortable existence - to take a risk. There is great power in intimacy!