Revival in America?

Last week I had an appointment with my doctor to plan a schedule for exercise at a physical therapy venue for this winter. But physical therapy is now limited to two weeks and no long term or seasonal therapy is accepted or allowed. Last late winter while the Covid-19 scare was at its height, I was not able to get adequate exercise and developed a serious loss of muscle in my right hip so that I could only walk with severe pain. I have worked that pain out enough to walk a mile every morning with no pain although my lower body isn’t as flexible as it was formerly.

During the conversation with the doctor, I complained about the unreasonable mandate that the residents in the senior high rise where I live being forbidden to talk to each other. Social distancing and masks are required but we also are not to talk to each other. Our entry lounge is marked off with yellow tape and no one is allowed to enter or even sit down however briefly. No visitors may enter the building for any reason without legal documentation. Please understand that this is NOT a nursing home or shelter care facility. This is a regular apartment building for normal, active people of retirement age.

This type of isolation is unheard of and extremely unhealthy. I haven’t heard of this happening anywhere but right here in my own building, so when my doctor commented that this was a common situation in several neighboring states as well, I was appalled. Having had some traumatic experiences in China during the 20-some years I taught English there, I understood the violence here and it’s ultimate purpose. I was in China during the Tiananmen Massacre and experienced electrical blackouts, burning buses blocking major streets, students dropping from lack of food and water in their demonstrations. I have been incredulous at how quickly and smoothly lawlessness has overwhelmed this nation.

I’m writing this in my blog for two reasons. The most obvious reason is that we must care deeply for our freedoms and protect them as best we can by exposing what is happening to each of us personally. Secondly, as Christians who have a personal acquaintance with the Triune Godhead, we have a responsibility to our Lord to hold high His standard against sin and defilement in our culture. Few do! What a source of disappointment and discouragement cultural Christians are. When I call out the things I see and how I feel about how we seniors are being treated (the better to reduce our numbers) I am treated like I have lost my emotional balance. I have so few relationships to begin with, that when those who know me avoid me it’s painful.

Some of the national prayer events only lure the cultural Christians to their Traditionally correct Christian events through big-name singers and musicians and other entertainment. Prayer? If the event was only for prayer, who would attend? My God, have mercy on once-Christian America. As happened during 9/11, people will turn to Jesus in a moment and in a moment leave Him when it appears that He has saved us from further death and destruction. I am afraid the same superficial behavior will repeat itself once again.

Once more we have a strong warning that does not compromise in the voice of Jonathan Cahn. People didn’t listen to him then. Will they listen to him this time? In mercy God will give us another window of time to repent, confess and forsake our sins and defilement. It is not merely our wicked political and religious leaders, it is us, the everyday citizens, who need to get serious with our Creator God in a long term commitment that extends into eternity – the Heaven or Hell that nobody believes in any longer in this enlightened age. After we’ve gotten ourselves in relationship with God we will be in a good position to deal with the rot in our government and religious leaders.

Ancient Israel surged up and down in their service to God until at last they lost their beloved nation and were taken into captivity. God, humble us before You, that You may have mercy on us and save us from evil.

Loving the Unloved

When I was in college I met a friend who was friendly and touchy-feely. One day as we were talking she put her hand on my hand and I came unglued. The only touch I had ever experienced in my life that I could remember was violent, so this person’s touch was off the grid for me. She wanted to know why I was crying but I wasn’t sure. I couldn’t put words to the experience.

I grew up on the farm. My siblings and I enjoyed the freedom to climb the trees or glide across the haymow on the hay pulley. Most farms had a silo where corn stalks with some grain was processed and stored as winter feed for the cattle. The silo was a round, very tall enclosure with no windows and only one door at the bottom. The top was somewhat open to allow heat from the compressed silage to rise so it wouldn’t catch fire.

When my friend put her hand on mine, in my mind’s eye I could see an earthquake shaking the silo and cracks forming in the walls, weakening the structure.

That silo was my heart, shut off from any demonstration of love. I was terrified of love. It felt like the violation of my person.

Recently I have been getting acquainted with a retired single lady who raises dogs for sale as a way of supporting herself. I don’t care for small dogs but when one of her females had puppies I inquired in an email about how they were getting along. To my surprise she replied that they were her business. I began to pray and ask the Holy Spirit how I might bring peace to our relationship.

The silo memory came to me and that brought understanding. It is one thing to love and care about a friend. But to care about the things they care about is a demonstration of love. I cared about her welfare and the dogs were her source of support as well as a source of affection in her aloneness. Apparently I violated the boundary leading into her heart just as that friend violated my inner boundary long ago.

Love can also mean a loss of freedom when a person is obligated to perform for a reward. That brings the same kind of terror. Several years ago I met a homeless woman and invited her to stay in my spare bedroom. I left her to fill her time as she wished because homeless people are often rolling stones and prefer that life style. However, when my friends found out about my guest, they brought groceries and other things they thought she needed or would like. That meant obligation was close behind and she couldn’t deal with the bondage, so she slipped away without being seen.

Love is a very precious thing that must be handled with sensitivity and openhandedness, leaving the recipient free to accept or not. Exploitation should never be a motive for love. The reward for love is watching another person bud and slowly blossom while learning to trust. Isn’t that what Jesus does? He loves unconditionally, leaving the response to us. When we accept His love and learn to trust Him, the relationship grows as we are filled with awe of kindness we never dreamed existed.