08 March 2012

There is a Balm in Gilead

Sometimes I feel discouraged
and think my work's in vain
but then the Holy Spirit
revives my soul again.

These lines from the hymn There is a Balm in Gilead come to mind as I reflect on my experiences this week at the Labor Tribunal here in Hong Kong. 

It can be so disheartening, so disappointing sometimes. We hope and pray for justice and have to fight so hard for it. The more we fight, the more we still have to fight. After you climb one mountain there are many more ahead. But their perseverance, their commitment to their families, their courage in fighting it at all, their gratitude to those who reach out to help and support them--all of these things revive my soul. The Spirit moves through us and lives are changed. 

What can I offer to them, these precious children of God, that could ever possibly hope to heal the wounds they experience from injustice? I cannot truly offer anything--I can only hope to get myself out of the way so that the spirit can revive...

There is a balm in Gilead
to make the wounded whole;
there is a balm in Gilead
to heal the sin-sick soul.

 If you can't preach like Peter, 
if you can't pray like Paul, 
go home and tell your neighbor
He died to save us all.

The chorus speaks to me of a balm that not only heals those who have been wounded but also those who, through their own sins, have wounded others. The last verse is a reminder that Jesus came for all. For the employer, for the client, for the presiding officer, for me, and for you. I may not have the gifts of evangelism or ardent prayerfulness, but I can tell the love of Jesus--the love of God for all people--through how I interact with others, through my relationships with others. I must not forget this important truth.

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