God declared to Isaiah, “I am the Lord, I have called you to righteousness.” Isaiah’s response (above) rings out challenging us to acknowledge and respond to racism, to the pain and needs of people who differ from us, who are viewed with fear and disrespect, their cries disregarded, their behavior punished.
We are called by God to recognize, speak out and act against injustice, to refrain from prejudicial words and actions. The woman in labor provides a parallel. In desperation she cries out for help, gasping between the pain of her labor contractions, wanting her agony to end, the baby to be born. As a nurse I encourage her with supportive care, provide measures to ease the pain, and with my presence assure her that she can succeed. I speak on her behalf with other professionals and family members.
We Christians are challenged to act – to recognize and speak out against current and past injustice, to behave in ways that respect and uplift (not degrade) those who differ, to seek changes to enhance equality. May our actions be honorable, not destructive and prejudicial.
Dear Lord, help me to recognize when my words or actions are harmful to others who differ from me and to find more positive approaches. Amen.
Carolyn Aradine (Emerita Faculty, Nursing), LCM Directing Committee ’92-98
For a long time I have held my peace, I have kept still and restrained myself; now I will cry out like a woman in labor, I will gasp and pant.-Isaiah 42:14