Speak Lord: Teach us patience


How long, O Lord, am I to cry for help
while you will not listen;
to cry ‘Oppression!’ in your ear
and you will not save?
Why do you set injustice before me,
why do you look on where there is tyranny?
Outrage and violence, this is all I see,
all is contention, and discord flourishes.
Then the Lord answered and said,

‘Write the vision down,
inscribe it on tablets
to be easily read,
since this vision is for its own time only:
eager for its own fulfilment, it does not deceive;
if it comes slowly, wait,
for come it will, without fail.
See how he flags, he whose soul is not at rights,
but the upright man will live by his faithfulness.’

Habakkuk 1:2-3,2:2-4

The cry of the faithful one comes from his agony. The Lord seems absent.

And yet the prophet is able to testify also that the Lord is present. And is aware of our predicament..

Righteousness will come. Victory is won.

In our pain and hurt we are asked to trust, to wait on the Lord. We can do no more than trust, maybe, and that can seem foolish, even ridiculous. And yet the loving, patient Lord invites us to be still, patient, and to trust. To him be the glory.

7th C Writing Tablet (Liturgical text) from Egypt, in the collection of the British Museum. (c) 2007, Allen Morris.

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