Today we are again tricked by the weather to think it’s still winter. All across the midsection of the country there is a band of snow that I thought was going to miss us. The weather maps tracked it clipping the southeastern end of our state. This morning reconfirms my conviction that the only certain way to tell the weather is to look out a window or walk outside.
The snow will only be a minor inconvenience here at our house. We have winter coats and boots and even someone who comes to plow our driveway, should it be necessary. I am, however, aware this morning of the plight of refugees who do not have such luxuries, nor any basic necessities. When they leave their homes (often walking), they leave everything they have known – even the security of the concept of “home.”
The lectionary psalm for today, Psalm 16, is entitled A Song of the Refugee in an alternate translation. As I read the words I could see the streams of people, forced to leave their homes in strife-torn countries, their faces lined with grief or fear or both, looking toward safety in places foreign to them. There are no “moving vans” accompanying them and no fast food restaurants along their way. They have virtually nothing to sustain them – except their faith in God and a hope of safety. As I pray this psalm for these brothers and sisters of ours, I pray as well for the courage to stand with them to find a solution to the crises that create this shame in our world and to be part of the solution. Hear them speak, if you will, in the psalmist’s words and join them in their hope of deliverance.
Protect me, Lord, for I have fled, a refugee, to you and as I fled, I said, “Lord, you are my God; I have no other God but you…Let me offer up the cup of life for you to fill, and hold my life in yours as I hold you…I am here to listen to your counsel, Lord, your inner teachings of the heart…You take my hand in yours and hold me up…This body-mind, this spirit, all are yours, and each part finds a place to rest in you…From birth to death you are the path I walk upon.”