The Parable of the Persistent Widow and the Judge
Jesus told the disciples a parable on the necessity of praying always and not losing heart: “Once there was a judge in a certain city who feared no one – not even God. A woman in that city who had been widowed kept coming to the judge and saying, ‘Give me legal protection from my opponent.’ For a time the judge refused, but finally the judge thought, ‘I care little for God or people, but this woman won’t leave me alone. I’d better give her the protection she seeks, or she’ll keep coming and wear me out!’
Luke 18:1-8 (Inclusive Bible Translation)
During a Quiet Day at nearby Launde Abbey, in the beautiful rolling countryside of East Leicestershire, whilst looking out onto the abbey grounds and grass and woodland beyond, I reflected on the question: ‘What if Love Ruled the World?’ – a paraphrase of ‘Your Kingdom Come’ from the prayer Jesus taught the disciples. Inspired, I began to form the following poem, to help summarise my current thoughts on nature and campaigning:
What if Love Ruled the World?
Love of every living thing
For this dream to become real
We need questioning, listening hearts
Searching with humility for God’s truth and wisdom
Open to new ideas and understandings
Inspired by those who live simply.
First, still – watching, listening because God in nature teaches and inspires
Seeking a shared vision
Journeying cooperatively to illuminate and build on the good in all
Creative, honest, sacrificial
Grounded in love and care
With rest, prayer and reflection
Not succumbing to negativity
But empowered by a desire for love
Patiently, persistently, determinedly
Listening to the voiceless and reflecting their wisdom
Using our anger and unease positively
Radiating a beautiful vision of hope and healing
Remembering the abundance of energy, blessings and love
And the capacity of creation and ourselves, as the children of God, to creatively restore and recreate.
We have the power to consume less with more care and the opportunity to search for and share our dreams and actions for the earth and one another more lovingly. Using the prayer Jesus gave us, we can all pray and pray again ‘May your reign come, May your will be done on earth as it is in heaven’. Matthew 6: 10 (The Inclusive Bible translation).
Like the woman in the parable, we need to find the right people to approach. And, like this woman, often we need to do this persistently, knowing what ‘rights’ we should be asking for – and that’s where the question of love ruling the world comes in.
I have a friend whose persistence in researching, writing, attending and lobbying parliamentary meetings has finally resulted in her being invited to comment on policies. Another friend gave me a book called ‘How to be a Craftivist: The Art of Gentle Protest’ (by Sarah Corbett) – written for those whose gift is creating purposeful, beautiful crafts to inspire positive change.
Whatever your gift, wherever your campaign and whoever your companions are, my wish and prayer for you is that of loving persistence and a shared vision of God’s love for the earth.
This reflection was written by Miriam S for the Wild Christian email, ‘Nature and Action.’ Miriam is a Pioneer Minister in the Leicester Diocese who explores spirituality with teenagers and families in the beautiful grounds of Launde Abbey.
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