Psalm 12 – Chalk

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I’ve been reading through Psalm 12 for over a week now. Initially my focus as I read was on verses 6-7:

The Lordʼs words are absolutely reliable.
They are as untainted as silver purified in a furnace on the ground,
where it is thoroughly refined.
You, Lord, will protect them;
you will continually shelter each one from these evil people…

I was thinking about the fire that purifies impurities. I thought of the purity of water washing away dirt. But it wasn’t until Sunday morning that things came together for me.

I was walking into worship on Sunday morning when I came across something written on the sidewalk by the middle school that had the name of a student and then “IS GAY” underneath. I am grateful that it was written in chalk and not spray painted or something like that. My heart just dropped as I read that – who knows whether the student is gay or not, but regardless something like this is just so heartbreaking to read and see. My first step when I got to the church was to get a pitcher of water, walk back there and wash it off (the next picture I took is just a puddle on the ground having washed it all away).

But where Psalm 12 comes into this for me is how living out the love of God (the Lord’s Words) can wash away and purify that which is hateful, dividing, and cruel. Most of what the Psalm speaks of here is about the evil that we see in the world and how it feels like that evil is spread far and wide (“The gold have disappeared, people of integrity have vanished” and so forth). But there in the middle of it are the lyrics about the Lord’s Words and the Lord’s protection.

So as I write this, I pray for this student whose name was written there on the sidewalk and for what other students have been and seem to be saying about him/her. I also pray for those who wrote it that the Lord will work on their hearts and minds. And I pray for the ways that the Lord can wash away the evil and the hurts we inflict upon one another through the loving actions of people in the world today. Come, Kingdom of God, come.

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