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Students sitting outside Bockman
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Monday, September 30, 2019

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My insides were doing somersaults as I sat with my wife inside a dimly lit office in a Tashkent (Uzbekistan) subway station. Two military officers had detained us. We looked "foreign." They asked for our passports and why we were in their country. I said, "I am an English teacher from the United States." One of them quickly asked, "Oh, you're American. Where is your gun?" I snapped in anger at this unfounded judgment!

We had done nothing to draw attention to ourselves; it was based only on our appearance. It wasn't fair. It wasn't "just." But because we were from the U.S., we were released. Were our cries for help answered? Now, returned to the U.S., do I turn a deaf ear to the cries for help? Am I numb to the violence on my phone and TV? Maybe the Lord is imploring me to listen.

God of justice, guide us in times of fear, and grant us courage to stand up for the oppressed. Surround us with strength when all hope feels lost. In your name we pray. Amen.

John Klawiter, '12
Senior Pastor, Faith Lutheran Church, Forest Lake, Minn.

Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4 (NRSV)

[chapter 1]
1 The oracle that the prophet Habakkuk saw.
2 O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not listen? Or cry to you "Violence!" and you will not save?
3 Why do you make me see wrongdoing and look at trouble? Destruction and violence are before me; strife and contention arise.
4 So the law becomes slack and justice never prevails. The wicked surround the righteous -- therefore judgment comes forth perverted. ...
[chapter 2]
1 I will stand at my watchpost, and station myself on the rampart; I will keep watch to see what he will say to me, and what he will answer concerning my complaint.
2 Then the Lord answered me and said: Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so that a runner may read it.
3 For there is still a vision for the appointed time; it speaks of the end, and does not lie. If it seems to tarry, wait for it; it will surely come, it will not delay.
4 Look at the proud! Their spirit is not right in them, but the righteous live by their faith.

This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.