While staying at a retreat center in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina I saw a sign posted in the lobby: “There is increased bear activity in the area. Use extra vigilance when hiking, running or jogging. Dogs must be kept on a leash.”
Before sunrise I took my morning walk, not realizing that I was walking at the edge of the increased bear activity! While I was in no real danger, I’ll be more on future walks, needless to say.
I got to thinking, though, of something the prophet Hosea wrote centuries ago; God is as protective as a mother bear is of her cubs (13:8). God loves each of us as if we were an only child. All of us are precious. All of us. When we hurt one another, God feels a mother’s pain. And God will respond to redress the wrong. The greater the wrong, the greater the response we will be.
It is up to we who take Jesus seriously to not only speak out for the voiceless but to act for the defenseless. Our action, though, must never be in the spirit of anger but with a resolute sense of justice. When this happens, we become glimpses of living grace.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace: where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. Amen. (Attributed to St. Francis)