image courtesy of medimanage.com
We’ve been without electricity a lot lately — which isn’t so horrible in the daytime. But at night it’s bothersome at best, wearisome at worst. Kerosene lanterns make it bearable, but I never enjoy those moments of stumbling down a dark hallway in search of matches and said lanterns.
What’s interesting is that my reaction to sudden darkness varies depending on time and situation. If we’re watching television at 9:30, I’m likely to say, “Let’s just forget the lanterns and go to bed.” If it’s 7:30, I’m much more likely to get out lanterns and candles and do some reading. If I wake to a crying Baylor, my cellphone provides enough light to find and pat her back to sleep. If I wake during the night needing to use the restroom, I’m most likely to decide it’s not worth it and just pee in the bed — we do have plastic sheets for a reason.
Isaiah 59:9-11 (my paraphrase):
We are far from having right relationships with one another, and a great distance from right relationship with God as well.
Our search for justice and righteousness is like hunting for the sun at midnight. We desperately look for light while walking in the dark shadows of our own sin. Like blind men, we grope along the wall, hobbling in the direction we think is right — our eyes unable to tell us. It’s not yet time for lunch, and we stumble along as if the sun’s already gone down.
Amidst the strong and healthy, we are like the dead. Like hungry animals searching for our next meal, we grumble and groan in our search for justice — yet find none. We seek our deliverance, but it’s so very far away.
Isaiah describes a people searching for deliverance, perhaps oblivious that it is their own sins and injustices which have indeed placed them in need of salvation. It’s not news to me that mankind is searching for right relationship while in the darkness of his own sins. What’s interesting is that Isaiah doesn’t speak to that part of humanity perfectly willing to dwell in self-induced darkness.
I have to wonder about those individuals who are not searching at all for a right relationship with God — or with others. Some of us have simply decided it’s not worth getting up in the middle of the night without electricity; we pee in our beds and seem perfectly content to lie in our own urine.
Here’s to the search for justice and righteousness. May we never be satisfied with wet sheets.