Be Still . . .Among my wife's many wonderful qualities, she is extremely wise. Tonight at a church function, as we spoke about our feelings concerning the events of the past week - three school shootings, one attempted shooting, and the unfolding events in Washington - she read Psalm 46. I found it so fitting because the author of this Psalm wrote about the various troubles and horrors of life, and he prefaced each horror by saying, "Even though . . .", followed by, "God is to be praised". The author recognized that the world is full of terror and evil. Yet, God is still to be praised, not in spite of the evil in the world, but in recognition of God's ultimate soveriegnty over and love for creation. Israel is admonished to "Be still, and know that I am God." In the midst of strife, we are not to panic, we are not to run around like headless chickens; rather we are to be still, and recognize that God is still God, even in the midst of the sorrows of this world.
I wish to pause for a moment, then, and consider some things that might be missed because our media have not been silent, the blogs have not been silent, the talk-radio hosts have certainly not been silent, the political preachers have not been silent, no one has been silent enough to hear something that might be a word we need to hear. The minister to the Amish community attacked on Monday has insisted that there be no hatred for the man who assaulted his community and killed its children. He spoke for all when he offered forgiveness to this poor, wrteched soul. In the midst of our national shock and sickness and anger and revulsion at pedophiles and murderers and venal, shallow politicians, we should hear the words of this small, peace-loving, hard-working community of faith, a community living out these words from Psalm 46. Be still, and know that God is God.
When asked to reflect, I said that prayers were needed for our nation, because the events of the past week have revealed a sickness at the heart of our nation, a sickness unto death, to quote the Danish recluse. Yet, there are other signs that there is a witness to a greater health, a greater wholness, a deep faith that sees that this sickness is not the final word, and the Amish witness to this faith may be a living out of the words of that Psalm in the midst of all the volume of our noisy, media-filled lives.