A few days ago, I attended THE FAMILY LEADERSHIP SUMMIT 2014 in Iowa. The privilege of addressing the crowd, and signing my newest book KING RULES was superseded by the awesome honor of being among genuine Christians who are committed to humbling ourselves in prayer that God will heal our land.
I came away encouraged, bearing Bob Vander Plaats’ new book IF 7:14. I’ve been setting my clock at 7:14 (2 Chronicles 7:14) twice daily and crying out to God for our nation, for my family, and for myself. Oh, if only I could have stayed up on that mountaintop, where GOD’s mighty presence enveloped us and gave us hope. Yet, like Moses, we must come down again, into a lost and dying world that needs the Light and Love of Christ.
As I left Iowa, I didn’t know what was ahead of me. I came home to startling and somewhat saddening reports of the death of yet another young Black male, Michael Brown; Robin “Popeye” Williams death by suicide; and the escalating Iraq crisis. Added to these reports, are some personal “issues” that are requiring a double strong dose of faith and love to overcome in my own life.
In the midst of these challenges, my heart was positively wrenched by the news that in the midst of the family’s grief, Robin William’s daughter, Zelda, has been bullied off of social media while in the throes of the grief that she and her family and much of the world are experiencing regarding Robin’s unfortunate suicide.
Added to Zelda’s dilemma are the attacks on my friend and fellow Priests for Life Pastoral Associate Kevin Burke who wrote about Robin’s loss of a child to abortion in the 1970’s. Kevin accurately pointed out that abortion can cause depression not only to the mother, but to the father of an aborted child. Now Kevin has been attacked for daring to point out an obvious secret. Abortion hurts and kills people; babies, mothers and fathers alike. Kevin and I, along with all of our prolife colleagues, share an occupational hazard. We are often accused of “seeing abortion behind every tree.” Ouch. The truth often hurts.
I didn’t make matters easy for the critics when I said that like the death of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown’s death is yet another late, late term abortion in that when young people are killed, their dreams are aborted. Added to this bombshell is my observation that visits from personalities like Rev. Al Sharpton to Ferguson often add salt to the wounds, rather than bring the healing we so desperately need.
The American dilemma goes far beyond human personalities and our reactions to such. The crisis of the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO isn’t about whether or not the Rev. Al Sharpton did or did not stop the violence. However, I agree with Sheriff David Clark, Jr. of Milwaukee. Perhaps Rev. Sharpton doesn’t have the skills to calm the raging beast. Perhaps he’s afraid that if he asks the people to calm down and they don’t, his reputation will be damaged. Now the President has called for calm. Will the people hear his voice? At any rate, this situation in Ferguson, the situation in Iraq, the loss of Robin “Popeye” Williams, and all the human dilemmas that have us all atremble will only be settled by God, who will always have the final say. It’s all about faith, hope, and the greatest love humans will ever know. It’s praying time America!