Show Me Your Power

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Near the village of Ain Dara in Syria lie the ruins of a remarkable Iron Age temple. Its most distinguishing feature is a set of giant footprints at the threshold, the mark of a colossal god entering his or her sanctuary. We mere mortals often feel small in the face of life’s challenges; it’s comforting  to believe there’s someone out there who’s bigger than us, wielding awesome power in our behalf, someone who can control what we cannot control, who understands what we do not understand, who can change what we cannot change.

The current global pandemic has brought on, suddenly and shockingly, many of life’s challenges, including isolation, illness, unemployment and, perhaps most difficult, uncertainty. I’ve listened to friends and family describe their feelings: anxiety, fear, paralysis, self-doubt, uselessness, despair, depression, helplessness, hopelessness. Feeling small, we reasonably look to someone bigger than ourselves—God, government—for help and healing.  And they are doing their parts, no doubt.

But we small ones have a part to play as well, and more power than we sometimes realize.

When my daughter commands,  “Show me your power!” her two tiny children stop whatever they’re doing and strike a pose. Amusing, yes. And  lately, inspiring. It’s as if this crisis is accompanied by a silent invitation: Show me your power! Stop whatever you’re doing—worrying, panicking, hoarding, retreating—and, just for a moment, show me your power. Leave behind a loaf of bread for the next person; post something funny; tell someone, “We’ll get through this together.” Believe that the “ineffectual”—say, a song sung from a balcony—is not “meaningless.” “A completely helpless gesture, an embrace, a tear, a word … has value.” [1] Has power.

It is the meek, said Jesus—those with the smallest footprints—who will inherit the earth.[2] Perhaps because they are so instrumental in saving it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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[1] George Orwell, 1984, p.136

[2] Matt. 5:5

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