Well, I had another post planned for today. It was a post about peace, how to achieve it through obedience and simplicity. But once again my country is reeling from current events in our ninth largest city. A city in which I lived as a young girl. A city known both for its southern hospitality, and the assassination of our country’s 35th President. And now it’s known for 21st Century violence.
For a country that likes to call itself a “Christian nation” this kind of thing is heartbreaking, and embarrassing. We have a serious problem, and our political and social leaders seem to be confused about how to “fix it.” Although they certainly know how to "talk" about it. They spend an inordinate amount of time yelling at each other about it, pointing fingers at one another in blame, and posturing and grandstanding on their own or their party’s official positions. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, though. What else should I expect from such a fallen world? A self-focused, entitlement-minded world. A world that really needs to stop thinking about and pining for "the good old days." “The good old days” really weren’t so good for many living in our country, and these days aren’t so good for many, either. They’re scary, violent, and void of hope.
Still A Shining Light?
President Ronald Reagan talked about our nation being a shining light on a hill. He was a man filled with hope and enthusiasm, qualities I don’t see a lot of now, or hear spoken about. Sometimes I wonder if God has removed our candle, but then I remind myself that He always maintains a remnant that clings to Him and to His promises. And that knowledge gives me much comfort. But if we do have a flickering remnant, we need to start shining it. We can’t hoard it for ourselves or keep it hidden under a bushel. (When I think of it being hidden under a bushel, I always imagine the dried bushel combusting and frying the house around it, so that might be more destructive than simply snuffing it out!)
I think Senator and former Presidential candidate Marco Rubio headed the right direction this week when he said that we need to examine our public discourse (a horrible thought to many who have elevated free speech to the level of an idol), where we pit people against one another and foster hate. As James the brother of Jesus told us, the tongue can start a fire. We should listen more and speak less, be long suffering and slow to anger.
So for today, it is one more time that my nation has had yet one more reason to lower our flag in memory of slain emergency response personnel and American citizens; yet another day to mourn; yet another day to ask, “Why?” Yet another day to be reminded that evil is alive and well in our midst; and to ask ourselves—as Marco Rubio did—how we are personally contributing to the problem, the evil. And for believers everywhere to ask, “Am I contributing to the abuse of the Gospel’s truth by my words or deeds, or lack of them?”
And get on our knees and really lament, repent and pray.
Until next Monday.