“For you have been a refuge to the poor, a refuge to the needy in their distress, a shelter from the rainstorm and a shade from the heat.” vs. 4
Isaiah has nothing but praise and thanks for God, saying “I will exalt you; for you have done wonderful things,” and this time he doesn’t have in mind great victories in battle or economic gain for the nobility. On this occasion, perhaps after famine or forced migration, he has seen God give refuge to the poor and to the needy. These are the moments in which we see the heart of God–it’s not when the wealthy make fortunes in a time of pandemic; and not when leaders flaunt their power and exult in political victories. We see the acts of God in communities offering shelter and aid to those who have lost their homes to fire or floods. Wherever people are finding refuge from abuse and relief from the burdens of debt, there is the hand of God. When hospital workers risk their lives, and care-givers selflessly offer comfort and love, God is always present. It’s there in the margins that we see most clearly what God is up to in our world, and we gladly offer our thanks and praise. And most spectacularly, it’s there in the margins among the outcasts and the needy that we hear the voice of God speaking to us. In the voices of the poor we hear God–and our hearts are touched, and we are transformed. Thanks be to God!
Thought for the Day: How has God spoken to me through the needy and distressed?