Do not hide your face from me,
do not turn your servant away in anger;
you have been my helper.
Do not reject me or forsake me, God my Savior.
Though my father and mother forsake me,
the Lord will receive me.
Teach me your way, Lord;
lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors.
As if You would ever hide Your face from us or turn us away! … and yet we know, we cringe at times, seeing our own fault and surveying our own sinfulness, even our blatant anarchy and the times when You were saying, “No! This is not the path of life! You do not need to know why, not right now – just choose life!” and we were saying, “we will walk in this path we have chosen; here is where we want to be.”
It might have been just a bad attitude we wanted to nurse for a few minutes or a few days. It might have been a “feel good,” a comfort, a dangerous distraction, but we have sometimes gone places where we did not want to be seen, like children with chocolate-y fingers and crumbs on our chins, not hidden, and especially not from You, and even there, to whom would we have turned, but to You?
Others could see in our faces, that we had not been with You.
We say to You, You are the Keeper of Our Souls. We say that when our parents did forsake us, seldom if ever on purpose, it was at times when they, too, wandered off on their own, themselves distracted, falsely comforted, to places where they did not want to be seen by You, sometimes for a few minutes, sometimes for a few days, and some of them much, much longer.
You will receive us; You will not stray or turn away. You run to us, and the deeper the pit into which we have fallen, the more we know, no one but You could have rescued us.
Save to the uttermost, Father. Save those for whom we pray today. Some of them know and some may not yet, that there is no one beside You, no one who can and no one who will be to the fatherless, a Father like You. There is no one Who can teach our souls the way You can and do, no one else Who can instruct in righteousness with faith as the assurance that we will learn and grow.
If only our parents could have taught us this: you will learn, you will be formed and whole and without spot or blemish or any such thing (Ephesians 5:27.) They said, “You must behave,” but You say, “You will be holy, as I am holy.” They wanted us to behave, to do what was right, to shun evil, to walk with integrity; You provide for us along the way, walking with us in paths of righteousness which we have come to love, because You are there. We were taught to fear abductors when we were small; let now these, our oppressors, go famished to their caves and the dark worm holes from which they emerged. Their mouths will not even water, for we drink from the well which is Christ, and they watch, shriveling to dust, as they ought to do.
May it be just so with those who come to devour those we love.
By H.F.B. Lynch, Five Generations of an Armenian family, by permission, Wikipedia