When we are dealing with very difficult situations in life that bring out the big disapproving words like "sinner" and "afflicted" (too easily translated as "humble" which can be seen as a positive virtue), it is important to have equally big reserves of "kindness". The big words for kindness are here noted as "steadfast love" (cause when you've only said "love" you've not said it all) and "faithfulness". These give an eternal arc to our interactions of the moment. This allows us continued connection in the midst of stress and brokenness.
Rather than being a polarity this pairing is a parallelism. When smashed together sparks don't fly. Imagine one of the heavenly host on your left from the "steadfast love" wing and one on your right from the "faithfulness" wing of heavenly discourse. As they embrace one another through you, you find yourself "steadfaithful".
The result is perhaps a new way of honoring the same reality both re-presented. "Truthiness" had its day, I wonder if "steadfaith" might have its moment. Instead of faith being a fixed place, which can be so easily left behind simply by letting time go by, we find faith present in every place we find ourselves.
There are so many ways in which things can go awry. We may even be able to count more of them than counting the ways love goes forth. Wanton treachery abounds. In its face, a steadfaith response brings hope through the education (leading, instruction) of folks who for whatever reason haven't gotten the "kind" thing. Thus sinners are not denotated by specific behaviors but connotative of general obliviousness.
= = = = = = =
In whose image am I?
May my imagoes steadfaithfulness
stand me in good stead
in this place
to rejoice in this opportunity
to wantonly trust and not treach
[question: ought I be putting an "amen" at the end of these prayers to better identify them as such?]