Thursday, June 23, 2005

Holy defiance

Psalm 11
Journal entry dated March 2, 2005

"In the Lord I take refuge! How can you say to me: take to the hills like a bird!"

"In the Lord I take refuge." This is the psalmist's response to those who are urging him to "take to the hills like a bird" in view of the threatening behavior of the wicked. It is a statement of courage, and perhaps even more, of defiance. "In the Lord I take refuge" is as much as to say, "Let them do their worst, but as for me, I will not be intimidated, I will stand my ground as a witness to the evil of their doings." As Woody Guthrie sang, "We shall not be moved."

This holy defiance, this willingness to stand in the place of threat, this refusal to retreat to safer ground, seems to be a characteristic of so many great people: Mother Maria of Paris and Fr. Demetri Klepenin, Martin Luther King and Gandhi, Archbishop Oscar Romero and Sister Dorothy Stang. All of these, in the face of imminent threat, responded to those who urged them to seek safety, "the Lord is my refuge."

To live in the spirit of this psalm is to inhabit dangerous spaces fearlessly, in the cause of justice.

No comments: