Almost exactly a year ago, I posted my thoughts during convalescence from a potentially life-threatening illness. [I can say this now that I’ve been cured!]
I had visited a reading from Exodus and wrote the following:
Amalek has come to wage war against Israel. Moses tells his general, Joshua, to engage in battle while he, Moses, climbs the mountain overlooking the battle. Moses keeps his hands raised to heaven in prayer and while he does so, the Israelites prevail. But Moses, after all, is merely human. His arms tire and fall to his side, leaving the Israelites to flounder in battle.
Moses’ brother Aaron and his friend Hur come to the rescue. They position themselves on either side of Moses, supporting his raised arms so that they can remain steady until sunset and the successful end of the battle. . .
God has given me the equivalent of Aaron and Hur. Family on the one side, friends on the other; these keep my arms lifted up to the source of strength.
Last year, it was I who needed support from family and friends. During this past year, however, it has been my closest friends who have needed me, whether from illness or other challenging situations in their lives. The little I’ve been capable of doing has been not just an opportunity to return a favor (how shallow that sounds!), but a Grace to illustrate to others, to a truly minor degree, the kindness of Christ, the practicality of his teachings, the fact of God’s unfailing providence.
This year, I’ve been blessed to be one of those arms, even weakly as I’m able, holding them up.
This last month has been fraught with hardships around the world, some of them natural disasters, but others — such as the Las Vegas massacre — man-made. We have all been urged to pray for the victims of these tragedies and we very readily comply.
But I can’t help but think of the thousands or even millions of people who are considered (and surely are) our enemies. And so I anxiously wonder: if we crave peace and love, who will pray for them?