'Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for my soul takes refuge in you; in the shadow of your wings will I take refuge until the storm of destruction has passed by.' (Psalm 57.1-2)
Jesus said ‘Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!’ The psalmist hopes to weather ‘the storm of destruction’ under God’s protective wing. No doubt he is praying for physical rescue, but he specifically says ‘my soul takes refuge’: most important of all is that inner self, to stay whole under the threat of disintegration. We have been treated during the pandemic to wonderful examples of people going to great pains to look after the vulnerable. Jesus’ spirit in the face of trial and the actuality of crucifixion was a projection of God’s parental longing for good.