Only together, hand in hand, as God’s family and not as one another’s enemy, can we ever hope to end the vicious cycle of revenge and retribution.
Desmond Tutu in God Has a Dream: A Vision of Hope for Our Time (2003)
Don’t get upset over evildoers; don’t be jealous of those who do wrong, because they will fade fast, like grass; they will wither like green vegetables. Trust the Lord and do good; live in the land, and farm faithfulness. Enjoy the Lord, and he will give what your heart asks. Commit your way to the Lord! Trust him! He will act and will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, your justice like high noon. Be still before the Lord, and wait for him. Don’t get upset when someone gets ahead— someone who invents evil schemes.
The grass seemed so tall. Coming back from youth camp, the rain and heat had turned my nicely mowed yard into an overgrown mess. It was the heat of the summer, and I had to mow it twice. Once to cut it down just enough so I could mow it a second time. In that summer afternoon heat though, the fresh cut grass soon dried up. In a matter of hours what seemed wild and overgrown had faded to mere clippings.
The psalmist writes of “evildoers” whose bad deeds will fade like that fresh cut summer grass. Maybe they cheat to get ahead or hurt their friends to get their way, but living that way doesn’t last. God invites us to focus on the good that needs to be done and the joy that is found in God’s goodness. In this way our “enemies” may see a kindness that endures and a love that never fades.
God, help me to see your goodness in each person I meet. Help me to do good in every place that I go, for these are the things that will last. Amen.
As you go, remember you are loved,
loved so deeply by the God who loves this world.
Drawing from the divine depths of this love,
may you join hands with others — even your enemies —
in making God’s dream come true.