Reflecting on Jeremiah 20: 10-13
Oh, Jeremiah. We really get you. You sound just like us when we were, say, fifteen. Back then we knew that our every word, every behavior was being scrutinized by our “friends” and used for conversation at the slumber party to which we had received no invitation. How the memories still sting.
You were a young man, maybe even a teenager, when you wrote, “All those who were my friends are on the watch for some misstep of mine.” It turns out that you weren’t paranoid. Your friends WERE talking about you behind your back. They were talking about your prophetic warnings about the destruction of Jerusalem, and going back through the years to remember how you’d ALWAYS been addicted to drama, ALWAYS been a worry-wart, ALWAYS been looking for attention.
Yes, you were right and they were wrong. And your prayer―so full of the hurt feelings of a young person―was answered. They died, and you lived. But I’ll bet that, seeing your friends tortured and killed, or taken into captivity, was not the satisfying moment you thought it would be. I’ll bet that you begged for their release before Nebuchadnezzar. But he wasn’t exactly the reasonable guy you hoped for, was he?
You probably hadn’t heard today’s responsorial psalm yet, since it wasn’t put in its final form until the grandchildren of those dragged away that day returned to Jerusalem. Let me remind you of it now: The Lord hears the poor, and those who are his own he spurns not (69:33).
It’s a blessing to be little. It’s a blessing to be humbled. That kind of poverty puts you directly in the center of God’s heart. Lucky you.
What memories do you have of God’s great love during a time of being humbled?
Kathy McGovern ©2017