Ramble for Kirwan Uniting Church Keeping in Touch pew sheet 4 February 2024
I’m unbalanced. Tell us something we don’t know! you comment. OK, that as well, but my balance, or vestibular disorder, has become progressively worse since the onset of Ménières and associated deafness almost thirty years ago. What brought this to mind just now is Sunday’s OT reading, the familiar and well-loved Isaiah 40.
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint,
and strengthens the powerless.
Even youths will faint and be weary,
and the young will fall exhausted;
but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint.
In Hebrew poetry, triplets (three-line sequences) like the one at the end of the chapter, grow in emphasis from the first line to the third. In other words, the last line is more important to the author than the middle, and the middle is more important than the first. Do you think, like me, that seems counterintuitive?
If he were thinking the way we would, the prophet/poet would have said, “They shall walk and not faint, they shall run and not be weary, they shall mount up with wings like eagles.” But his order is just the opposite of what we’d expect. Surely, flying like an eagle should be the pinnacle moment, not walking without falling down.
But often, in our spiritual and emotional lives just as in my vestibular craziness, no matter how much we long to soar like an eagle, all we can do is barely manage to put one foot in front of the other, over and over and over again. Maybe that is the pinnacle. Simply to be able to walk - or stagger - in faith.