Grace and Peace to you.
There was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. A widow kept coming to him and saying, “Grant me justice against my opponent.” For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, “Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.”
— Luke 18. 2-5
We have to confess: sometimes we judge; sometimes we neither honor God nor respect people. And God comes to us again and again, pleading for justice. All too often we refuse. But give thanks that God is continually coming, wearing us down with her grace.
God does not speak to us in thundering tones, through authoritative powers with clarion voices. God speaks in the quiet murmurs in our hearts, in gentle nudgings and nagging questions. While our imperious, judging egoistic mind is busy with its business, God speaks in subtle, unflagging leanings of our hearts, the widowed voices within us. And God speaks in the voice of the poor and dispossessed, the vulnerable and powerless, in the silence of those who have no voice. She wears us down with the truth, with slight but persistent invitations to pay attention to what is within us and around us, calling us to love, to justice, to courage.
Prayer is not our attempt to get God to pay attention; it is the attention we give to God. We are by nature hard of hearing toward God’s entreaties. So it takes time. We have to keep praying, keep listening. God’s Word calls us to love radically. It is often outside the range of our expectations or even our initial acceptance, so it takes courage to listen. We have to not lose heart. (“Will the Human One come and find faith on earth?”)
Be still and listen for the patient widow’s knock on your door. Listen for her voice. What might God be inviting you toward? How might God be seeking your attention? How is God coming to you now? Listen and wait; pray always and do not lose heart.
Copyright © Steve Garnaas-Holmes