Psalm 121 • Jeremiah 25:8-17 • Romans 10:1-13 • John 9:18-41
“I lift my eyes to the hills from where does my help come?”
– Psalm 121:1
I had already signed up for a Lenten reflection and later that week went to a memorial gathering for Robin and Mani Aldridge where Psalm 121 was read. It felt right for the occasion. We were on a farm in the foothills of Albemarle County and as I looked past the hundreds of grieving people gathered, to the horizon that felt situated to inspire hope, I felt a measure of peace but I still wondered: “from where will our help come?” The next day I went to switch my date to the one that included this psalm because I wanted to think more about the answer to that question.
“The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.”
That was not the case for Robin and Mani; they were not kept from all evil. And there were far too many occasions last year when evil seemed to prevail. While that reality causes unrest, dismay and sometimes even anger we can’t let it cause disbelief. The verse concludes with “He will keep your life”: that is the truth our faith allows us to believe. Even in the face of sometimes relentless suffering we have assurances of the Lord’s presence. That is the gift of the resurrection that we all anticipate during Lent. But it only comes after a season of fasting, refraining and, yes, sometimes suffering. When we’re confronted with life circumstances that cause despair, remember to look to the horizon and receive hope. Additionally, someone wise in our midst recently suggested that we can all contribute to repair in our world by offering others hope, so this Lenten season and beyond join me in giving and receiving hope.
— Erika Viccellio