Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Hear the Cries

Scripture: Psalm 22:23-31

Focus Verse: For he did not despise or abhor the affliction of the afflicted; he did not hide his face from me, but heard when I cried to him. (Psalm 22:24)

Rapid advances in technology inundate our lives with noise. Radios hum. Keyboards patter. Cell phones beep and buzz. Electronics strive to keep us plugged-in to the events of our world with tweets, status updates, and non-stop newscasts. While these waves of information flood our beings with sound bites and headlines of suffering and oppression, they do not require us to dive into the tumultuous sea of life. Rather, they offer us a cruise ship of luxury from which to view the pain of the exoticized other.

What if we got off the boat? What if we struggled to swim in the seas of affliction with our neighbors? What if we unplugged from the noise pouring down on us and embraced the silence? Whose cries would we hear?

We might hear the voice of a single mother who works full-time at a minimum wage job and struggles to pay rent and utilities each month. The voices of school children might ring in our ears as they share stories of bullying on the playground. Our parents and grandparents might speak of inadequate healthcare. And maybe, just maybe, we will hear our own voices cry out in pain and confusion as we struggle to make sense of our lives.

In this season of Lent, I challenge you to unplug from technology and tap into the richness of family, friends, and strangers. Leave your iPod at home and talk to the person next to you on the bus. Turn off the radio in the car and listen to the stories your child tells. Unplug the television for a day each week and deepen relationships with friends. Wrestle with the joy and pain of life together. Cry out together to the Living Word who hears us and intercedes on our behalf.

Prayer: Great I Am, you call us to live in community with you and with one another. Forgive us when our thirst for news forsakes the cries for healing in our homes and our neighborhoods. Embolden us to share our pain with each other and cry out to you for healing. Amen.

Jennifer M. Manis

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