1-3 Dignify those who are down on their luck;
you’ll feel good--that’s what God does.
God looks after us all,
makes us robust with life--
Lucky to be in the land,
we’re free from enemy worries.
Whenever we’re sick and in bed,
God becomes our nurse,
nurses us back to health.
4-7 I said, “God, be gracious!
Put me together again--
my sins have torn me to pieces.”
My enemies are wishing the worst for me;
they make bets on what day I will die.
If someone comes to see me,
he mouths empty platitudes,
All the while gathering gossip about me
to entertain the street-corner crowd.
These “friends” who hate me
whisper slanders all over town.
They form committees
to plan misery for me.
8-9 The rumor goes out, “He’s got some dirty,
deadly disease. The doctors
have given up on him.”
Even my best friend, the one I always told everything
—he ate meals at my house all the time!--
has bitten my hand.
10 God, give grace, get me up on my feet.
I’ll show them a thing or two.
11-12 Meanwhile, I’m sure you’re on my side--
no victory shouts yet from the enemy camp!
You know me inside and out, you hold me together,
you never fail to stand me tall in your presence
so I can look you in the eye.
13 Blessed is God, Israel’s God,
always, always, always.
Yes. Yes. Yes.
“Compassion asks us to go where it hurts, to enter into places of pain, to share brokenness, fear, confusion, and anguish. Compassion challenges us to cry out with those in misery, to mourn with those who are lonely, to weep with those in tears. Compassion requires us to be weak with the weak, vulnerable with the vulnerable, and powerless with the powerless. Compassion means full immersion in the condition of being human . . . . It is not surprising that compassion, understood as suffering with, often evokes in us a deep resistance, and even protest. We are inclined to say, ‘This is self-flagellation. . . . We are pain avoiders and we consider anyone who feels attracted to suffering abnormal, or at least very unusual.”
--Henri Nouwen, Show Me the Way: Daily Lenten Readings
Isaiah 12:2-6 (MSG)
2 “Yes, indeed—God is my salvation.
I trust, I won’t be afraid.
God—yes God!—is my strength and song,
best of all, my salvation!”
3-4 Joyfully you’ll pull up buckets of water
from the wells of salvation.
And as you do it, you’ll say,
“Give thanks to God.
Call out his name.
Ask him anything!
Shout to the nations, tell them what he’s done,
spread the news of his great reputation!
5-6 “Sing praise-songs to God. He’s done it all!
Let the whole earth know what he’s done!
Raise the roof! Sing your hearts out, O Zion!
The Greatest lives among you: The Holy of Israel.”
Today's Lenten Activity:
Write a prayer to God explaining the habits, behaviors, and sins you want to die to.
Daily Lent readings and activities at: