My two-day hiatus from writing was not because I was buried in the snow but I must admit to feeling the quiet and the inactivity that such a weather event has on me. I prefer to move with the silence that the storm engenders when there is no accompanying wind. Yesterday was certainly a day to attend to inner work even while looking out the window. Today I am back to checking what Isaiah has to say; his voice is very often present during this season of Advent. This morning he makes reference to King David as “the shoot” that will “sprout from the stump of Jesse,” (his father). He says a lot of hopeful things but there’s one statement that seems quite appropriate for our times and to which we might turn our attention for this day.
Not by appearance shall he judge, nor by hearsay shall he decide…(IS 11:3)
Just think about that for a moment. Consider all the hearsay on the internet and the gossip in magazines. Think of how celebrities are hounded and the political scene has turned into a race for scandalous tidbits. People are judged by the clothes they wear or the color(s) of their hair or the way they speak or how much money they have – because of course the media has shown us all that information.
Do I sound harsh or judgmental? If so, it’s probably because I think we’ve gone too far down this “information highway.” And don’t get me wrong. I can easily get seduced by a headline and follow it until I wake up and ask myself what the point of my search is…I’d be better off reflecting on Chapter 11 of Isaiah!
Getting to the bottom of things is different from digging in the dirt. We would do well to consider our sources and our own biases when making decisions about people in our lives, those who lead our organizations, candidates for office and the person who just joined our church. Finally, our prayer might well be that the Spirit of the Lord will be upon us, calling us always to look for and to find the truth in love.