Advent Reflections 2021: Day 10

Beauty for brokenness (StF 693)


What is most crushing to a life isn’t hunger, or poverty, or fear. These are all by-products of the most crushing lack of all – lack of control.

Lack of control disables you. If you’re in control there’s no fear. Fear comes from not knowing what might happen, and particularly not feeling able to prevent the bad, or protect from it.

If you don’t feel safe you have no confidence and can’t plan the future. Without control, you can’t improve your income.

If you lack control, you’re ripe for exploitation by those who have power. They can take the profitable business you might have had.

To redress the injustices of the world, we need to reflect on control and its mechanisms.

When I started writing this meditation, I called it ‘Taking control’, thinking of the powerless and what they need to do.

But to be realistic, it should be called ‘Giving control’. You can’t take control when those more powerful than you can hold on to it. You have to be empowered.

The task of the church today is to spread control more fairly. To do that, we may have to give some of our own away, hoping it will be shared back with us. Then we speak to the poor and the vulnerable.

Paul Johnson


Lord, in our rush to take control of our own situation,

may we become more aware of the control we remove from others. Amen.