Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Day America Paused: A Response to Max Lucado’s Prayer on December 14, 2012

On the day that some Christian leaders say ‘evil visited America’, Max Lucado uttered a prayer to Jesus.  Earlier that day the world had heard about a young man who shot his mother at home and then proceeded to the school in Newtown, Connecticut where she taught.  There he killed twenty very young children and six other adults before taking his own life.  A total loss of twenty-eight lives.  America stopped in its tracks and Max offered this prayer on our behalf:

Dear Jesus,
It’s a good thing you were born at night. This world sure seems dark. I have a good eye for silver linings. But they seem dimmer lately.
These killings, Lord.  These children, Lord.  Innocence violated.  Raw evil demonstrated. 
The whole world seems on edge. Trigger-happy. Ticked off. We hear threats of chemical weapons and nuclear bombs. Are we one button-push away from annihilation?
Your world seems a bit darker this Christmas.  But you were born in the dark, right? You came at night. The shepherds were nightshift workers. The Wise Men followed a star. Your first cries were heard in the shadows. To see your face, Mary and Joseph needed a candle flame. It was dark. Dark with Herod’s jealousy. Dark with Roman oppression. Dark with poverty.  Dark with violence.
Herod went on a rampage, killing babies. Joseph took you and your mom into Egypt. You were an immigrant before you were a Nazarene.
Oh, Lord Jesus, you entered the dark world of your day. Won’t you enter ours? We are weary of bloodshed. We, like the wise men, are looking for a star. We, like the shepherds, are kneeling at a manger.
This Christmas, we ask you, heal us, help us, be born anew in us.
Hopefully,
Your Children

I do not for a moment now, nor would I ever, presume to even guess how our Lord Jesus might respond to such a prayer, primarily by Americans, but really from all His children.  God has this incredible ability to respond very uniquely just when you think you have Him figured out.  But from own inner experiences in our personal reliant relationship with Him and from His Word, we may well have an inkling of what a grieving loving Father may say to us in return.  I, with millions of others, was literally devastated at the news of what happened in Newtown.  As a father of three and a grandfather of six ranging from age 11 years to minus six months, I cried hard almost my entire twenty-three and a half miles home from the office.

Because of His unique relationship with each of us, and because of where each of us is in our spiritual walk with Him, we would do best to write our own version of what He is saying to us.  This is just mine and so I personalize it.  I wrote it in the wee hours of the morning after as I could not sleep . . .

Dearest Child of Mine,

You call Me ‘Dear’ but I feel there are times when your heart considers Me anything but; when your actions say you don’t even know Me.  But you are still My ‘Dearest Child’ as are all My children.  Don’t try to figure that out logically, it’s just true.  Accept it.

Yes, I was born at night, but I was born at the appointed and the most appropriate time with respect to My Heavenly Father’s plan for you and all your brothers and sisters, including the billions you have not met.  In God’s Plan, son, there were no other times that would have been better.

Child, I am fully aware of the killings that went on today, as I am aware of all calamities that occur throughout the world and have been occurring since the beginning of time.  Do not think these happen only to people you feel closer to; some of My children suffer extremely longer and more painful hurts, although I know your great pain for I know what it is like to lose a child to an eternity without My Heavenly Father.  Yes, they were children.  Yes, they were innocent.  I love them.  I will take care of them.  You must trust Me.  There will, My Child, be more ‘raw evil’ as you call it in the days ahead.  You must be ready.  You have a job to do.  You have a job to do for Me – to be bold, honest, and clear.  You have a job to do for others.  You must love like you have never loved before.  And you must point the way as my cousin John did over 2000 years ago.

Dearest Child, the world is on edge.  Mankind, because I gave them free will has made it such.  Some of your brothers and sisters have not relied on Me for guidance and instructions as to how they could make things better, and so you are all now in this mess.  Now, I have to deal with each one of you separately (even more so than I have done over the centuries).  Now I have to convince you (and others like you) to seek Me, to lean on Me, and to listen to Me.  Then you must obey Me.  Child, the world in which you live may feel like it is “one button-push away from annihilation” but let me, the God of your fathers, assure you no one gets near that button unless I allow it.  And don’t worry; I won’t abandon you before that, through that, or after that.  I will never leave you.  I will never take away from you the strength and the power that I give you to accomplish your jobs for me and to make it safely to the other side.  In fact, you just need to keep reaching out and I’ll be right there – but walk with Me, not ahead of Me.

Yes, the world I and the Father created for you does seem a bit darker now – but only from your limited vision, My son.  You see, for Me, each passing day makes Me realize that the world is just one day (in My time, not necessarily yours) closer to when the Father says to Me, “Son, it’s time to go back.”  And that day will come, just in time, just when it is supposed to, just when it is best for mankind.  Yes, son, I am very familiar with darkness and night in the world.  That’s why I came the first time.  And yes, I brought Light, true Light.  And son, it may seem I have abandoned the world and left it in its darkness as a whole.  In one respect, I understand how one might think that.  But really, as I tried to suggest to you earlier, I have just changed My tactics.  Having come to the world and having being rejected, I continue to focus on individual hearts like yours.  I want to reside there.  I want to express My power, My life, and My love through those hearts.

Son, don’t be too hard on yourself.  You are like the wise men of old.  You sought the Light and you found it.  Now stay in it.  Share it each and every day of your life with friends, loved ones, and those I put in your path anew.  I will heal you and help you and those who accept Me when you share the Truth with them.

Now Dearest Child, pray for those that have suffered a loss – the parents, the siblings, the children who lost adults in their lives.  Do not forget them.  You will even find some like them within your own community.  Pray for them.  Help them.  Love them.  You know what that means.  Now go back to bed, for tomorrow you have work to do.

As ever,

Your Loving Father.


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