In you, Lord, I have taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
In your righteousness, rescue me and deliver me;
turn your ear to me and save me.
Be my rock of refuge,
to which I can always go.
– Psalm 71:1-3 (NIV)
When things have gotten beyond what I can bear, when I cannot fathom the next step, when I am steps from the edge: I need to take refuge in God.
Does this make me a refugee?
Many of us have been thinking of refugees of late. The very ones who “have taken refuge” in the safest place they could find.
Many of us have also been talking about refugees of late. The very ones whose home lives presented sufficient danger that home was not refuge; it was terror. Lots of us have been talking about them from the perspective of, at best, apathy. At worst, criminalization.
I am surrounded by so many options that I have no sense of what it means to take final refuge. Meanwhile, scripture treats refugees often and consistently with mercy.
But the Bible isn’t about me. It’s about a lot of us who have very different experiences. Psalms are written from the perspective of the ones who need to pray. And that category is all-encompassing.
We may think and talk about refugees. And then: we may be refugees.
May our thoughts and our words about seeking God in the toughest of circumstances never center ourselves first.
Holy One: In you I take refuge. May someone else take refuge in me, too. Amen.
Kaji Douša is the Senior Pastor of The Park Avenue Christian Church, a congregation of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ, in New York City.