Kind of sleepless in Merced

It is 2:00am and I am unable to sleep. Last night we found out that a person was upset with us…a person who has different coping skills than we do, a person who could cause harm to us. After my husband and I spoke with God about the situation, we went to bed … but restful sleep did not want to come. Every sound in the street, every bark of the neighborhood dogs, every stir of our own dogs made me aware of my vulnerability. While my faith in God tells me that we are safe, my body responses with adrenaline and keeps me awake. As I was pondering this, I realize that this is only a one-time event for me. By tomorrow I will have settled down, the ‘crisis’ will have passed and I will feel ‘safe’ again in this little world of mine….. while thousands of others will again go to bed with the fear that their husband or wife will come home drunk to lash out at them; their family member will sneak in the bedroom at night to do unimaginable things, their friends terrorizing them, the homeless man or woman fearing that their few possessions will disappear, or that they might have to leave their temporary home. To live under that kind of stress seems so unimaginable to me. One night for me is tiring, nerve racking and exhausting…. how do they live with it day in and day out? No wonder the children cannot concentrate in school, the adults are overly tired, lash out, and can’t focus on their work or their daily living. Reading my Bible a few moments ago I came across Proverbs 31 in verse 8 and 9 were we are called to “Speak up for the people who have no voice, for the rights of all the down-and-outers.Speak out for justice! Stand up for the poor and destitute!” Wouldn’t it be great to live in a community where people care for each other, where I can count on my neighbor to be there for me, a place where I know I don’t have to handle the struggle myself. Where someone will speak up for the voiceless, where justice is being served, where the poor and the destitute have an advocate. I want to be the one that stands up for the people without the voice, but I also need people around me who will stand up for me, who will have my back when the time comes. My prayer is always that God’s Kingdom will come on earth as it is in heaven, and I know that only with God’s help do I have the strength or the desire to stand up to help others along the way, to live in community and care enough to act.

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