I haven’t updated this page for over a month, and I think that’s the longest absence I’ve had since beginning Northern Reflections in Autumn of 2008. Even after surgery and during hospital sojourns I’ve managed to plug in and let readers know that Joe and I are still on the planet. Why the truancy? Perhaps for the only time since I began writing at age 9, I simply could not decide what to write. No, it wasn’t writers’ block. I couldn’t decide what to write because for weeks I’ve been caught in a wedge between euphoria over this wonderful season, and my ongoing sorrow over the incredibly horrible daily news.
How could I blither on about herbs and perennials when confronted with images of a couple of brothers who blew up the Boston Marathon? How could I keep posting photos of knitted shawls and hats when we have a president who refuses to admit he was wrong in trying to conceal the fact that the Benghazi disaster was indeed an act of international terrorism rather than a reaction to some stupid video—or for the fact that available aid was withheld from the embassy in Libya? How can I wax euphoric over balmy days, when the IRS has reportedly targeted special interest groups including those containing the name “Israel”? (If that isn’t a red flag, then what is?) How can I write glowing paragraphs about how blessed my husband and I have been in nearly 60 years of marriage and family, when 3 young women in Ohio have suffered approximately 10 years of what amounts to as horrific an experience as many WW II concentration camp stories I’ve read about?
Thus the delay in refreshing Northern Reflections. But today in church, I received a nudge. When I get a nudge—this one was more like a hearty thump on the head—while sitting with my open Bible on my lap and listening to a straight arrow message from my straight arrow pastor, I can be reasonably sure that the thump is coming from the Indwelling Holy Spirit of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Time to blog.
YES, life is beautiful. My own personal life is amazingly beautiful, in every way! (So what do orthopedic issues matter anyway, at age 79? If I didn’t have them, I’d wonder if I were really alive!) The Lord has poured His amazing grace upon our family. The joy and contentment in my home defy description! Each day I wake up excited to be alive while praying and deciding which of many creative options to pursue that day, if the Lord unravels the time for my creative options. I always know that He may have other plans for me, and His will is always PERFECT.
YES, the days are evil. Human history is rampant with evil. Only one sinless person has ever walked this earth, the Person of our Lord Jesus. Yet in America the evil grows more blatant as time passes. A cloud of widespread evil has shadowed our land in recent years, accelerating it seems since the Autumn 2012 election. As we reap the bitter fruit of a godless culture, a nation in which God and the truths of Scripture have been discarded as “irrelevant”, we need more than ever to affirm the good, the beautiful, the blessed—while firmly proclaiming that the days are evil.
Only PRAYER, PRAYER, PRAYER, can reverse America’s collision course. While savoring the abundance God has provided for us and rejoicing in those freedoms we still have, we need to remember that the days are evil and we could lose all of our freedoms in a matter of weeks or even days. I take seriously the Scriptural mandate to pray for our leaders. Yet today in church, with the blog nudge I also received a nudge to ratchet up my prayers for our nation’s president.
President Obama is AT BEST clueless and incompetent—or AT WORST downright evil! Did he really find out about the IRS scandal at the same time the rest of us did, or is he lying? God knows the answer; at this point we do not—at least I do not! Yet like each one of us, President Obama is a person for whom Christ died to save.
And if our president is either incompetent or evil (or both!), will “the other” major TV news networks have the honesty and courage to come forth with the unaltered facts? So far, only one station is telling it like it is—while the others appear to be in a state of denial. While the truth-telling network addresses the issues of Benghazi and the IRS as wrongs to be dealt with accordingly, the other stations simply cry “GOP Politicizing!”—as if confronting evil were a matter of politics rather than our God-given responsibility!
The evil in our land reflects the sad demise of salt and light in our nation’s churches, once known as “Christian”. The objective fact of man’s sin and need for a Savior is (most thankfully) addressed in my church—but in countless assemblies that kind of straight arrow preaching has been deemed “political” (or objectionable, or unappealing, or whatever!) and therefore abandoned. Yet we are still here. We can pray that the Spirit of revival will sweep our land, bring us to our knees, and bring our churches back to God’s Word.
Here is the nudge, or thump, I received today: Continue to PRAY, PRAY, PRAY! Keep informed, keep talking, keep living the Christian life I’ve been given! These are not optional—they are essential. Meanwhile, keep blogging. Keep broadcasting the fact that my life is good. There is time and space on Northern Reflections for the urgent issues which confront us—and also for herbs, perennials, knitted garments, and my beautiful family!
Margaret L. Been, ©2012