Sunday, November 17, 2013

Monday Morning Meditation #72: What Do you Mean by Crushing My People?

Moving on slowly without my computer (yep, still being repaired, nearly two months later -- patience! patience!), I found verses in the very next chapter of Isaiah that spoke to me. It, in fact, reminded me of a meeting I had on Friday with new junior managers on the topic of servant leadership, the leadership philosophy that has become the organizational culture of my division and one which I carefully nurture and monitor. Introducing new managers to the precepts of servant leadership is a task that I do not delegate. I retain it for myself because maintaining an organizational culture of servant leadership is critically important to me. Here are the verses that
13 The LORD takes his place in court;
he rises to judge the people.
14 The LORD enters into judgment
against the elders and leaders of his people:
“It is you who have ruined my vineyard;
the plunder from the poor is in your houses.
15 What do you mean by crushing my people
and grinding the faces of the poor?”
declares the Lord, the LORD Almighty.
Reading: Isaiah 3: 13-15

Meditation:That God cares deeply about His people, particularly those at the lower rungs of the power ladder, became crystal clear to me the time that I ran into an SFO formation director who was abusive to those in our study group who were poor or simple in their faith. When they turned to me for help, I prayed to God for direction. In response, I was repeatedly given a vision of Jesus overturning the tables in the temple, where the poor people were being denigrate. That was followed by very clear words: "Let [the director} know he cannot treat My people this way." I described the whole story here for anyone with the time to read it: Tasked.

Knowing this and also seeing a little piece of God in everyone who works for me, I instituted a servant leadership approach to management several years ago. That philosophy comes from the New Testament and the image of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples. While no one literally is asked to wash anyone's feet, every manager is expected to put his/her employees first, to empower them, to support them, to mentor them, and to go the extra nine yards (or more) in helping them. Others notice this. Visitors have commented on the happiness that exudes from the organization. Some even ask for more information on how to create a similarly high functioning and highly happy organization. It is pretty easy: do as God asks! God will do the rest.

Contemplation: That is far as I can go with you this Monday morning. I now retire to private prayer to repent for the times I have not treated God's people in the way in which they deserve to be treated, to praise God for His constant love for all His people, especially those who are located on the lower rung of the power ladder or the financially poor, to thank God for giving me the opportunity to help His people, and to ask God to help me become at doing that. Then I will move on to contemplation, my favorite part of the day, letting God take over the direction in which my relationship with Him moves.

I will leave you now to your prayer and contemplation. First, though, I would like to bring to your attention a Monday morning prayer post that you might enjoy:

Fr. Austin Fleming, priest of the Archdiocese of Boston and pastor in Concord, Massachusetts, posts a prayer each Monday morning that he calls "Monday Morning Offering." I enjoy his prayers very much. I think you also will find them inspirational. He has graciously given me permission to include a link to his blog on my Monday Morning Meditation posts. (During the week, he also posts great homilies and other thoughtful discussions. I enjoy reading those, too, as do readers of this blog who have taken the stroll over to his blog.)

For additional inspiration throughout the week, I would point out two sets of blogs: (1) the list of devotional blogs on my sidebar and (2) my blogroll, where I am following a number of inspirational priests and writers about spiritual matters. I learn so very much from all these people. I highly recommend them to you.


  1. I have an award for you at Arise 2 Write. It is the second post down.

    I have a prayer request at All Gods Creatures.


  2. So lovely to read this just after talking with a friend who thought "the God of the Old Testament was all about hurting and scaring people."

  3. Thanks, Andrea. I will go look for it.

    Sheila, I have been reading a lot of the Old Testament lately, and I don't see that scary God. I see a God who is patient even when His chosen people keep turning their backs on him and choosing to worship Baal and other gods. I see a God who becomes hurt from His people hurting Him. (Considering the range of human reflections provides some thought to our having been created in God's image.) I see covenants broken by God's people and justice applied. That justice might seem scary but it should not have been unexpected: covenants are promises to be kept by both sides.

    Thanks for stopping by, Toyin.