“Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees.”
In a time of devastating pandemic, of political rancor so strong we can scarcely talk openly with each other, of pleas to respond to desperate needs and continuing iniquities that seem intractable, when strength is needed to bring a better time into being a more secure humanity, and an answer to the hopes of so many… Well, Isaiah seems to be talking about us, doesn’t he?
In these times God calls us to see our neighbors, our common humanity, and strengthen our weak hands, make firm our weak knees, and get on with it. Healing needs to be offered: can we offer it? Healing needs to be received: can we accept it?
Once years ago, foolishly working alone, I was repairing a leaky roof when the rain started. I slipped and fell off a roof. Broke some bones in my back. I couldn’t speak for several minutes. I was helpless. A newsboy delivering papers saw me fall and called the neighbor, who saw I was in bad shape, covered me with a blanket to head off shock and keep off the rain, and called my wife. There followed days of excellent hospital care, people stopping by to pray with me, generous support from the school where I taught. Those folks strengthened my weak hands (broken wrist bone) and made firm my shaky knees. Isaiah would have been gratified. I know I was.
Who hasn’t had difficult times, times when one’s shaky strength is not enough and one is grateful for the strength others lend us? And who hasn’t been called to offer strength to others?
O God, you have bound us together in a common life. Help us, in the midst of our struggles to work together with mutual forbearance and respect, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (BCP p. 824)