I remember a poem with the phrase, ‘Lord, prop me up on my leaning side.’ In these days of pandemic shutdown, quarantines and social distancing guidelines, it is apparent that folks are leaning in all kinds of directions. Some lean to the far right, while others lean to the far left.
It might make sense to believe if one leans too far in either direction, there would be an epic failure to stand upright any longer. In the illustration of a tree, many years of wind and rain can disrupt the normal pattern of being tall and fruitful. The tree is not guaranteed perfect growing conditions, and eventually may succumb to years of neglect and harsh environmental conditions.
So are our daily lives as witnesses to the faith we believe.
We must succeed by trusting the Lord with all of our heart. Scripture says to not lean to your own understanding, but in every way trust God. By doing this, our roots will go deep into the solid ground of truth. We will not be blown down when times of hardship come, and we will continue to bear good fruit. We will be planted as trees of righteousness, tended by the master gardener who alone knows our limitations.
As far as the pandemic goes, there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel of uncertainty. Continue to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. Continue to do no harm, do good, and stay in love with God. Regardless of political or philosophical leanings, be reasonable and open-minded to the Lord who is involved in all affairs relevant to humankind. Remember this observation. The world is not changed by one’s opinion, but by the example we set.
Lord, search my heart and mind, and see if there is any wicked way in me. Please continue to prop me up on the leaning side. Amen.
The Rev. Will Shewey is pastor of Shades of Grace United Methodist Church in Kingsport.