A Cry for Help
Psalm 69 begins with these words, “Save me, O God! The water is up to my neck; I am sinking in deep mud.” There are so many people who live in the community surrounding Linwood United Church who feel that the waters of hopelessness come up to their necks ready to overwhelm them; and feel that they are sinking forever deeper into the mud of affliction. The writer of Psalm 69 goes on to say, “I am worn out from calling for help.”
Volunteers from my congregation and outside my congregation staff a one-morning-per-week food pantry and a one-day-per-week free lunch. These volunteers meet people regularly who do not want to be hopeless or homeless, do not want to feel afflicted or burdened by adversity. They need someone to show them patience and encouragement, someone to answer their call for help.
Our church building is home to an Alcoholics Anonymous group and a Cocaine Anonymous group. These people who are working so hard to stay sober need someone to help them keep from sinking deeper into the mud and help their families keep from drowning. They get worn out from asking for help.
Each member of the Missouri Legislature is elected by a constituency, but you are elected to be a part of the legislature for the entire state of Missouri. Jefferson City is not that far from Kansas City or from Webb City or from Forest City or from Queen City or from Montgomery City or Kimberling City or King City.
The psalmist closes by saying, “May all those who are beaten down by failure and despair see anew God’s love and experience God’s deliverance and be restored once more to joy and purposefulness.” God needs hands and feet and hearts in the real world to restore joy and purposefulness to those who are sinking into despair. As legislators, you can be those hands and feet and hearts.
Tex Sample, a retired seminary professor, wrote a prayer, which is appropriate for this devotion: “O God, fill us with a passion for the common good and for justice founded upon it. Call us again to a covenant of life together. Let us dream of a world where children are born to hope, where work serves vocation, and where righteousness and justice cover the earth. In the meanwhile let us embody these dreams in our lives . . . Amen.”
Reverend Tamara Goettel Miller, Pastor, Linwood United Church, PCUSA and member of MORE2, in Kansas City