The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of a teacher, that I may know how to sustain the weary with a word. Morning by morning he wakens– wakens my ear to listen as those who are taught.” (Isaiah 50:4)

In these days we need many different types of people. We need workers who can complete the tasks that are called for and do this under very stressing conditions. We also need teachers and instructors of every kind to uplift and sustain those who are pressed upon, isolated, and ill. While I do some supportive work, my greater calling is that of a teacher. This verse has meant a great deal to me in the past – encouraging and supporting me in my role as a writer and teacher. I am not the only teacher, however; and teaching and instructing comes in many forms. What is also important is that the teacher must also be as attentive to the Great Teacher as the students she/he teaches. That is, I must listen closely to the Divine to be instructed as to what, when, and how I teach. I think I had said some time back that I feel the Lord God guides me often in what I should write.

“The Lord GOD has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, I did not turn backward.” (Verse 5)

In my younger years, I was reluctant to speak up, not knowing whether what I had to say would be worthy and worthwhile. I don’t know if the intervening years has made me wiser so I feel confident to speak up; or if I have become braver and less daunted by the opinion of others. One of my peers once said of me, I listen very carefully to what is said before I speak up. But when I do speak, it is wise to pay heed to me.

“I gave my back to those who struck me, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard; I did not hide my face from insult and spitting. The Lord GOD helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame; he who vindicates me is near. Who will contend with me? Let us stand up together. Who are my adversaries? Let them confront me.” Verses 6 – 8)

That is not to say I don’t still feel some reluctance at times to speak up. I used to “stifle” myself and hold back my opinion and thoughts. However, there have been one too many times that I regretted not speaking; and that has been enough for me to throw caution to the wind and just say what I feel I should say. The same holds true of writing.

“It is the Lord GOD who helps me; who will declare me guilty?” (50:9a )

I have spoken a great deal this Lenten season about many things. With the onset of Covid-19 it feels like even more so that teachings and instructions need to be given. Not as corrective but as comforts. Encouraging and exhorting my beloved readers to seek out the Divine, and rely on the blessing that can be found. And to be there for others, so that each person can and will be a blessing to one another. The whole world is united in this gripe of illness. Whether it be our neighbors that we now have to be at a distance from, or people around the globe that we are even more separated from – we need to find new ways to pull together. Our existence may depend on it! Shalom!