Comfort, O Comfort
Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that she has served her term... Isaiah 40:1-2a.
In reading again from Gooder's book, The Meaning is the in the Waiting, I found her comments about this passage applicable to today, in the light of the tragedy on Friday.
She says that our modern translations miss part of the meaning. This command is not one from God to the Prophet -- it is not singular. It is plural. "Is there anyone who will go out and comfort my people?"
It seems to me God is calling for people to comfort people.
And not only that, Gooder says, but also that those words will speak to the heart of the people. The words spoken will be transformational. The words will convince those hearing them that God is there. She says, "It will comfort their brokenness but also resonate truthfully, deep within them."
What words can we say? What actions can we do? What is our role to provide comfort to God's people? What can we do that will convince people that the absolute, life-changing truth is that God is present? God is present in what feels like exile -- what is exile?