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Thursday Thought: Silence and Gallows

This isn't a prayer...just a thought. Somewhere between Charlottesville and the repeal of DACA, the transgender ban and the Nashville Statement, I felt crushed. Abandoned. Anguished.

The energy in the evangelical air is electric with hostility...though I doubt that most of the conservative evangelicals are aware of their own aggressive knee-jerk defense of white (cis) supremacy. Damn everybody else.

As I watched people who ought to know better defend walls, budgets, and confederate monuments as they casually tore down "illegals," "transgenders," and "thugs" made in God's image, I grieved. I raged.

I cried.

I cocooned myself in my comforter and worshiped at brunch...distraught and feeling abandoned by the Lord and His people. How, after all, could my God allow this? Allow hatred to be made great again?

Today, this thought struck me:

Don't make that gallows too high. You never know who's gonna hang on it.

The book of Esther epitomizes the seeming silence of God: A narcissist reigns. The people of God don't know how to worship Him; instead, they want to disappear into the surrounding culture. Young women are trafficked for the pleasure of the rulers. There is a threat of genocide. National leadership is fickle and self-serving.

Haman makes a gallows for Mordecai out of his virulent hatred of him and all Jews. With callousness and glee, Haman plots the demise of an entire people, and gets apathetic approval from his king.

But God in His providence is not having any of it. He instead uses a young, orphan, passing-for-Babylonian, Jewish woman--the most vulnerable of all--to bring about the protection of His people.

Xerxes, Haman, and all the rulers of Babylon didn't see her coming because their eyes were never trained to discern her value.

Lessons?

We have value. It comes from God. It is not diminished by those with untrained eyes.

God is always at work. It's His nature to care for the vulnerable. Even if the people of God would rather give up their vulnerable as leverage to remain citizens. Even if the people of God forget whose they are.

If you are on the margins, God has His eye on you. From Esther, to Mary, to the woman with the issue of blood--God sees us on the margins. He seeks to draw us so close to Him that the line between "us" and "them" disappears.

Justice matters to God. Haman hung on the gallows he had built for Mordecai. Even though His name is not mentioned at all, God effectively said, don't come for me (or mine) unless I send for you.

God is the same. When people are fashioning high gallows or exploitation of the vulnerable, He sees. He cares. He acts.

I am going to cling to these lessons in the seeming silence, and pray that the Lord trains my eyes to see His servants.

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