Isaiah is so amazing. He offers hope. He sees imminent possibilities for the human race. At times, he also warns and sometimes chastises.
I’ve always loved this scripture that appeared in the Mass readings yesterday:
God gives strength to the fainting,
for the weak he makes vigor abound.
Though young men faint and grow weary,
and youth stagger and fall,
They that hope in the Lord
will renew their strength,
they will soar as with eagle’s wings;
They will run and not grow weary,
walk and not grow faint.
– Isaiah 40:30-31.
Betsy’s really cool. She’s eighty-something and has had a marvelous 65 year love affair with John. I last saw them on the couch, both dressed in denim gaga-eyed like teenagers. Now John is slipping away into another world within himself. And yet, she finds that her God and the angels are lifting her up on eagle’s wings. And she tells me — to her delight –she feels renewed by her faith and the Magnificat prayer book I got her as a gift. Renew her vigor, Lord.
I want to pray for to Aaron, Lord, a good guy in his thirties who’s lost somewhere on drugs. He has “staggered and fallen” again, and again. He has lost his vigor, has lost his way. Be with him, too, Lord.
And then, praying about this Isaian text, I want to mention the guys on the corner of Broward and I-95, Lord. I don’t care what they do with the buck I give them. I just look them in the eye, give them a thumbs up and ask their name. When the light changes, I lift them up in prayer. Their sign often says “Homeless Vet.” Young men whose souls are buried deep within. Homelessness is tough, Lord. I know. I had a brief bout of it. Be with them, too, Lord. Let them run again, Lord, into the wind. Let us honor the poor, Lord. They have much to teach the rest of us.
Then there’s Sean, Lord. He’s worried right now because his marriage is in trouble. Be with that family, Lord, and all the homes in our land that are not sweetness and light before Christmas.
I, myself, praise you, Lord, because you have restored my vigor in marvelous ways. You’re renewing my strength. And I’d love to soar as if with eagle’s wings, if you would grant me that grace. Soar to the heights of the mountains and dive to the depths of the ocean of Your love, Lord. Yes, at age 69, I’m ready to serve You, Lord as long as you grant me the grace, the vigor and the strength.
Whatever You will, Lord. Whatever you will.
Now, before you go, here is the wonderful Robert Shaw Corale singing “And the Glory of the Lord” for Handel’s Messiah. Be sure to turn up your speakers and enter full screen. Click here.