I hear the whispers of the crowd, that frighten me from every side. // Psalm 31:13
I was always someone who was very aware of my surroundings. What are people saying? What do their gestures mean? As a sensitive person, I was also very affected by interactions that communicated rejection or dislike. So whether it was standing in line to pay for groceries and being met with a cold shoulder after joyfully saying, “Good afternoon!” or the guy I liked politely declining my openness to date him, or the friends becoming strangers because of differing political and moral views—oh, how it all stung!
As Jeremiah in the First Reading (Jeremiah 18:18-20) heard the death threats against him, although they were only whispers, I tended to “hear” these statements and gestures of rejection as blaring declarations about who I am. These whispers spoke loudly into my identity.
Yet the Lord in His mercy also spoke loudly in His whispers. And I began to listen to His voice over the voices in the crowd. In the moments of pain and hurt, I no longer weighed in on the opinion of others but on the Lord’s opinion of me. What was He saying? What was He doing and why?
Although I can sometimes still get distracted by what other people are saying, my new focus is on the Lord and not on the crowd.
As we are now in the middle of this second week of Lent, I invite you, sister, to place yourself as Jeremiah among his adversaries. Then place yourself near Christ as He is before the Sanhedrin and awaiting His conviction. Imagine that you also are hearing the deafening shouts from the crowd, demanding His crucifixion. What if they were demanding the same about you? In that moment—precisely amidst the voices and chanting of the crowd against you—do you hear the voice of the Father?
Perceive His presence and His assurance right in the midst of that rejection as He calls you, “Beloved.”
I challenge you, sister, to abstain this Lent from focusing on the voices of the crowd and lean in to hear what the Lord says about you. In the end, this is the only thing that matters.
Let us pray with the psalmist: “But my trust is in you, O LORD; I say, “You are my God.” In your hands is my destiny; rescue me.”It is the only thing that matters. // Rocio Hermes Click To Tweet