Wednesday, March 11
Read Isaiah 30:27-33
You shall have a song as in the night when a holy festival is kept; and gladness of heart, as when one sets out to the sound of the flute to go to the mountain of the Lord, to the Rock of Israel. (v 29)
I play flute, so I cannot imagine anything more celebratory than going to the Lord’s mountain while flutes play. However, the context of this celebration is that God’s arm comes down “with raging anger” and every time he strikes is accompanied by music. Wow. That is hard to write about.
My mother was slow to anger. However, when I was in second grade, I saw how a loving parent can go to battle for a child. My teacher (we’ll call her Mrs. G) had lots of issues that she brought to class. Each morning, in our public classroom, we sang hymns from her church—many about brimstone. So much for separation of church and state. She told the class that, if our parents did any work on Sunday, they would go to hell. Imagine hearing that the parents you adore (and who had to care for farm animals and prepare Sunday dinner) would be eternally damned. I don’t know why I didn’t tell my parents this awful news.
The culmination came when the mother of one of the beloved teachers in our school died. All the students were given the option to contribute their ice cream break money for flowers. I was an obedient child, and my mother had said the money was for ice cream. So I took that literally and was the only child in Mrs. G’s class who did not contribute to the flower fund. Mrs. G shouted that there would be fire on my grave because I was so selfish. Thus began my nightmares and digestive issues. After a trip to the doctor showed no physical problems, my mother finally learned what was bothering me.
I had never before seen my mother’s eyes flash with anger. The next day, she somehow had our only car to drive me to school. She spoke with the principal, who then listened outside the classroom to our morning devotions. I was asked to enter the classroom, and Mrs. G apparently was raked over the coals in the hallway. My mother’s righteous anger had immediate results. Mrs. G announced that we would begin class thereafter with the Pledge of Allegiance. There were no more sermonettes on Fridays and eventually my nightmares ceased.
Our heavenly parent intercedes, often violently, in the Old Testament. But the reason is love for his people. Just as my mother defended me, so our Father protects us, interceding when things are more than we can bear alone. We go to the Lord’s mountain, celebrating eternal life through God’s Son.
Eunice Doman Myers
[Yesterday |Lenten Index | Tomorrow]