|March 28, 2019
By Ken Sampson
Psalm 46 (NIV):
1 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
Read the full psalm.
Uneasiness. Apprehension. Dismay. The journey of Lent invites us to examine these feelings of unrest, express sorrow that we’ve submitted to such fears, and seek restoration and renewal.
Early this January, I headed to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles office to renew my license. The DMV is adjacent to a distressed section of the city. A sense of reluctance, nearing dread, marked my frame of mind as I entered the crowded storefront-like facility.
With warmth and grace, the uniformed officer by the door directed me to the publication rack and handed me an enhanced license renewal form. A pleasant counter agent looked over my documents, sympathized with my not having correct paperwork to signify “veteran” be stamped again on my renewed license, gave me a ticket number, and instructed me to wait my turn.
The repurposed church pews for seating were crowded full. I took an empty counter stool, feeling content to participate in my civic responsibility along with fellow Orange County citizens.
After a long delay, due in part to reduced Thursday afternoon staffing, the new year, and computer rebooting, my number appeared. The agreeable administrative officer processed my documentation and speculated that my veteran status might transfer over. After taking a photo and paying the fee, I needed to sign one final form. With a satisfied smile, the agent pointed to the “VET” designation on the temporary enhanced license. I left the facility with the feeling that the church pews were singing regarding my uplifting experience.
As we are aware of generous, Jesus-shaped love active in our communities and give thanks for evidence of God’s grace, we release fear, tension, and strain. Composure—a state of rest and balance—is restored. Quiet joy returns as we realize “the Lord our God is with us” and with our world.