During the Senate hearings on the confirmation Judge Amy Coney Barrett, to the Supreme Court, I was struck by the testimony given by Laura Wolk on behalf of Barrett.
Because of her blindness, Wolk has continually faced challenges at Notre Dame Law School and as she moved into a law career because of her need for assistive technology that wasn’t always available.
In a moving testimony, Wolk explained how she was able to eventually become the first blind clerk at the Supreme Court because of Barrett’s help.
While attending Notre Dame, Wolk was also being mentored by Barrett but was running into problems with getting the technological assistance she needed as a blind person. The Daily Wire provided part of Wolk’s testimony before the Senate hearing:
“I had been Judge Barrett’s student only for a few weeks, but her graciousness and warmth gave me hope that she could provide me with that assistance. Even so, I maintained relatively low expectations. Based on my past experience, I assumed that Judge Barrett would simply direct me to the proper bureaucratic channels, which could still take weeks, if not longer, to navigate,” Wolk said.
“But Judge Barrett did something altogether different. She silently listened with deep attention as I explained my situation, giving me the freedom to let down my guard and come apart,” Wolk said, later adding: “I poured out all my concerns—not just about technology and my worries about failing classes, but all the burdens I currently carried as a disabled woman navigating a brand new environment. When I finished, Judge Barrett leaned forward and looked at me intently. ‘Laura,’ she said, with the same measured conviction that we have seen displayed throughout her entire nomination process, ‘this is no longer your problem. It’s my problem.’”
Did you read that last line?
Barrett told Wolk, “this is no longer your problem. It’s my problem.”
Having struggled with bureaucracies in the past, Wolk was unable to make things happen and because of that Barrett, who had authority, took over and said it was now her problem.
Wolk added within days the equipment showed up paving the way for her becoming a Supreme Court clerk.
There is a verse in Deuteronomy that explains the unusual dynamic that believers have with our Heavenly Father:
29 “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law. (Deuteronomy 29:29)
God says that the secret things are His responsibility. They belong to God. But, at the same time there are things that are our responsibility.
When three countries were going to war against Judah, King Jehoshaphat turned to God, and a prophet of the Lord delivered a word to Judah’s King that this battle belonged to God.
“Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. (2 Chronicles 20:15 NIV)
This battle was no longer King Jehoshaphat’s responsibility, but God’s. It leaves the impression there was more going on in the spiritual realm than Jehoshaphat was aware of.
And in response, King Jehoshaphat ordered the Temple worshippers to lead the army into battle and God moved on Judah’s behalf.
But there are also times when God wants us to take our authority and deal with situations ourselves.
When Jesus and the disciples were crossing the Sea of Galilee after a long day of ministry, they encountered a massive storm. Fearing for their lives, they woke Jesus who was sleeping at the back of the boat.
But Jesus did a very strange thing. First, He stood up and rebuked the storm (Luke 8:24), but then Jesus turned and also rebuked Peter stating “Have you still no faith?” (Mark 4:40)
Jesus wanted Peter to take care of this storm. It was his responsibility.
In other words, God expects us to do what we can, and then turn situations over to God to let Him handle the stuff we can’t.