Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness’ sake, for they will be filled (Matthew 5:6).
Sitting in centering prayer, moving inwardly away from searching and analyzing and just returning moment-by-moment to silent presence, I see so much more of myself. By not trying to see, I see.
Often a pesky companion comes clear previously unnoticed in the blur of ideation: dissatisfaction with things as they are. This restless sense dogs me to fix something as yet unidentified for a satisfying equilibrium.
Repeatedly returning from that restlessness to acceptance of the way things are leaves me ever mindful that whenever I get lost, I need only turn inward to return home. That return and acceptance cultivates righteousness understood as doing whatever it takes to love God. It sets the inner stage for acts of love among neighbors and enemies alike.
Yet, a paradox arises. Led by high school students in Parkland, Florida, students across the country peacefully protested recently for action to make schools safer. Women across the country are speaking up against violations to their bodies and their dignity. Against new threats, civil rights leaders renew their fight for voting rights.
In the face of this hunger and thirst for righteousness, could acceptance of things as they are be anything other than the devil’s temptation?
Yes, if that acceptance means believing the lie that things will always be the same, that the status quo will never move. Oppressive powers believe that illusion and exert all their force and authority to prop it up. Inner voices of despair and complacency tell us that nothing will ever change, insinuating that something less than justice can satisfy love’s hunger and thirst. That is, they say, the way the world works, realistically.
But no, that is not realistic at all. Things change constantly if subtly in many cases. No empire stands forever. No status quo fails to melt eventually and to flow like a river toward unexplored horizons. Things constantly change. Martin Luther King, Jr. knew it, and all like him who hunger and thirst for righteousness still know it. King believed that meaningful change springs not from an indifferent universe ordered only by the laws of physics, but from a Loving Heart, a Faithful One.
That belief made all the difference.
Honor your hunger and thirst, your yearning for the righting of the wrongs that plague you in your community, household, or heart. Accept the way things are – not static, but changing. Talk to God about it and trust God in the silence. God will act in ways always mysterious but always loving. Let go of anxiety for change. Rest into the inevitability of it. You will be filled.
Dr. King’s Medicine
Dr. King’s Antidotes to Fear: Faith
Silent Night, Holy Night of the Heart