Taste and See: the comfort of care

Motherly care

The psalm given for the first Sunday of Lent encourages us to trust, puts words of confidence and hope on our lips.

Be with me, O Lord, in my distress.

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
and abides in the shade of the Almighty
says to the Lord: ‘My refuge,
my stronghold, my God in whom I trust!’

Be with me, O Lord, in my distress.

Upon you no evil shall fall,
no plague approach where you dwell.
For you has he commanded his angels,
to keep you in all your ways.

Be with me, O Lord, in my distress.

They shall bear you upon their hands
lest you strike your foot against a stone.
On the lion and the viper you will tread
and trample the young lion and the dragon.

Be with me, O Lord, in my distress.

His love he set on me, so I will rescue him;
protect him for he knows my name.
When he calls I shall answer: ‘I am with you,’
I will save him in distress and give him glory.

Be with me, O Lord, in my distress.

Psalm 90:1-2,10-15

The Lord does not always take away our distress, our loss, our suffering. And even if they do go we are left with something of their effects.

Sometimes people turn from God because they pray for an end of suffering for themselves or others and it does not come. Sometimes the worst happens. As it has always done.

But even in this we can know salvation; and in this we can know care. Like a wounded child, held, tended in a parents’ arms. Sometimes our carer cannot make the bad thing go away, sometimes our carer knows the more important thing is for us to learn to cope with this or that.

There are no easy answers to the ‘problem’ of suffering, but the answer to our experience of it, is the tenderness and care of God.

Painting of Pieta, San Jeronimo monastery, Granada. (c) 2014, Allen Morris.

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