I am God, and also henceforth I am God; there is no one who can deliver from my hand; I work and who can hinder it? —Isaiah 43: 13 alt.
God, we have a warped view of your power.
We believe power is only about strength.
We hope that power is used against our enemies.
We claim your power as our own.
Help us to reimagine your power: power as liberation, power as freedom, power as creation. Amen.
We have a warped and one-sided view of power. It seems that we can only understand power these days by engaging in a contest of physical strength, watching competitors rise to the top, or celebrating the destruction of our enemy. God’s power lies not in these things but in how we go about changing the world. Sure, brute force as strength are expressed in God’s work, but so is extending healing to the afflicted so that they may find relief, showing love to one’s enemy so that they may know God’s blessings, and speaking words of insight so that structures of injustice may crumble. I have always felt this skewed view of power has no long-term value. At some point, organizations and individuals find themselves overcome by weakness. There are always people on the horizon who are stronger and faster and will exert their will on those who find themselves in a state of weakness. But graciousness, kindness, and empathy never grow old. Graciousness can disarm one’s worst enemy. Kindness can transform the hardest of hearts. Empathy can build unexpected bonds of understanding. Faith and the actions generated from them— graciousness, kindness, and empathy— do not weaken over time, no matter our age, physical strength, or weapons stockpile. At the end of the day, love is the most powerful act of faith that we can wield when we go into the world.