One thing I asked of the Lord; this I seek: to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple.
For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will set me high on a rock. ~ Psalm 27:4-5
Notice how quickly the Psalmist moves from an image of fearfulness - wanting to be hidden in God's shelter - to one of confidence: being set high on a rock. Not hidden, but open.
God doesn't hide him. God sets him free.
Most of the hatred in the world comes from fear of the other: fear of other "races," fear of foreigners, fear of someone taking your place in the world.
And so we shelter ourselves - shelter our hearts - to try to protect ourselves. We hide out from the reality of the world.
We ask God for shelter, but God's shelter isn't one to keep us hidden inside of our fears and hatreds.
God's shelter opens us up to the freedom to love. The freedom to see the other not as an enemy, but as a beloved sibling.
- What examples of fear leading to hate can you think of in the world right now?
- How does God set us free from fear?
Holy One, lead me, push me, pull me, prompt me along this journey of faith. Keep my footsteps sure and my eyes fixed on the places you would send me. Amen