Friday, June 16, 2017

He is not a tame lion.

The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”  Psalm 14:1

O Lord, we come this morning
Knee-bowed and body-bent
Before Thy throne of grace.
O Lord--this morning--
Bow our hearts beneath our knees,
And our knees in some lonesome valley.
We come this morning--
Like empty pitchers to a full fountain,
With no merits of our own.
O Lord--open up a window of heaven,
And lean out far over the battlements of glory,
And listen this morning. –James Weldon Johnson

And sometimes I am discouraged, as I sling my daily knapsack over my shoulder and head out into the new day; the road is rocky and the high passes ahead of me are formidable indeed.

It tool them some time to reach the foot of the slope and, when they did, they looked down from the top of the cliffs at a river running below them from west to east. It was walled in by precipices on the far side as well as on their own, and it was green and sunless, full of rapids and waterfalls. The roar of it shook the earth even where they stood.
“The bright side of it is,” said Puddleglum, “that if we break our necks getting down the cliffs, then we’re safe from being drowned in the river.” –C. S. Lewis
And now and then I even wonder if this journey is all in my own head, a foolish game that Puddleglum and I are playing.

And this morning I came, knee-bowed and body-bent.

Like an empty pitcher before a full fountain.

Gripping the metaphorical prayer list of beloved souls in my fist, before the Throne of Grace.

No. As I hold each name before the fountain, No. I will choose to believe. I will choose to believe in purpose and goodness and dependence on His strength and courage and His outstretched love. I refuse to settle for the tepid stew of good sense and security and big walls built up.

“One word, Ma’am,” he said, coming back from the fire; limping, because of the pain. “One word. All you’ve been saying is quite right, I shouldn’t wonder. I’m a chap who always liked to know the worst and then put the best face I can on it. So I won’t deny any of what you said. But there’s one thing more to be said, even so. Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things–trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that’s a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We’re just babies making up a game, if you’re right. But four babies playing a game can make a play-world which licks your real world hollow. That’s why I’m going to stand by the play-world. I’m on Aslan’s side even if there isn’t any Aslan to lead it. I’m going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn’t any Narnia. So, thanking you kindly for our supper, if these two gentlemen and the young lady are ready, we’re leaving your court at once and setting out in the dark to spend our lives looking for Overland. Not that our lives will be very long, I should think; but that’s a small loss if the world’s as dull a place as you say.”

On June 16, 1976, seven hundred school children were killed in Soweto, South Africa, as the struggled against the forces of apartheid. The 1,500 heavily armed police officers deployed to Soweto on 17 June carried weapons including automatic rifles, stun guns, and carbines. They drove in armoured vehicles with helicopters monitoring the area from the sky. 

 And this is the song the children sang:
We are marching, marching,
We are marching, marching,
We are marching in the light of God.
We are living in the love of God,
We are living in the love of God,
We are living, living,
We are living, living,
We are living in the love of God,
We are moving in the power of God,
We are moving in the power of God,
We are moving, moving,
We are moving, moving,
We are moving in the power of God.
Siyahamb' ekukhanyen' kwenkhos',
Siyahamb' ekukhanyen' kwenkhos'.
Siyahamba, hamba, siyahamba, hamba,
Siyahamb' ekukhanyen' kwenkhos'.
And so today, LORD, let me not settle for warm fireplaces and sweetly scented drowsiness and the, quite honestly, soothing, thrum, thrum of busy background noise that urges complacency and safety, and questions all that is good.

Let me march forward today, living and moving in His power, with cheer on my lips and a song of joy in my heart to God our Strength.

Only a fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”