I'm not much of a pray-er. I tend to be more of a complainer. If you know me, you might know that I'm especially adept at complaining about MUNI. When the T-Line first started running last April, the folks who answer the phones at 3-1-1 knew me by name. In any event, it is perhaps part of my nature that I don't spend my mornings doing devotions and I pray at night only rarely. After all, I spend the rest of my day griping, which crowds out time to praise God, thank God for anything, much less pray for anything.
Last Friday, for the first time in a long while I found myself in a state of almost constant prayer. I was observing a hearing for a client I care very much about and unjust and aggravating things were happening right under my nose. I couldn't say anything to complain or object and I felt completely impotent.
What could I do? Finally, I realized I could pray. I just kept repeating phrases from hymns and trying to pray for strength for my client and compassion and wisdom from the commissioners in charge. Although things at this hearing did not turn out the way I think they should have, I left with a greater sense of peace than I would have thought possible.
Reflecting on this experience today, a co-worker shared the following verse with me:
If you see the poor oppressed in a district, and justice and rights denied, do not be surprised at such things; for one official is eyed by a higher one, and over them both are others higher still. - Ecclesiastes 5:8
My fighting spirit causes me to see injustice in a lot of places and I get pretty worked up about it a lot of the time. Typically, my anger gets me nowhere. (Especially with MUNI.) Recognizing the simple truth in this verse, that everyone answers to someone higher than themselves - ultimately God - provided me with some much needed perspective. Even when advocacy fails and no one seems to be listening for the truth, greater things are at play.
So, "Who do you say I am?" An advocate who listens and understands.