Sitting here on a Sunday morning in the luxury of my warm, second home, reading Isabel Wilkerson's "Caste", just on the heels of my daily devotional, a now 50 year old, annual trek through scripture.
Today's read was in I Kings, a description of Solomon's wisdom and opulence, the envy of most American Christians.
All my blessings seem somewhat marred by the re-awakened reality of our history as white Americans. Wilkerson so skillfully articulates the atrocities borne by black lives, rightfully comparing their stories to the Jews of Hitler's Germany.
Her readers can readily sense the blindness of German Christians of that day, calling their kids inside the house, lest they too, like the flowers lining the picket fences, be coated with ash from the nearby crematorium.
This has been an agonizing year for me as a Christ-follower. I have watched America's citizenry victimized by twisted political "reprogramming", howbeit either party.
Sadly, this atrocious political scapegoating has now been bought into by many of those long endeared to me, by way of my church and community engagement.
Having been miraculously set free from the downward spiral of a maverick life in 1973, I set out to allow Christ full access to my life, in hopes of "being the change" I so desired to see in others.
As I became once more deeply churched, a disciplined student of the Word, I can recall holding God accountable for the very text of scripture. Yes, even challenging God one late evening after joining hands in prayer repeatedly, on behalf of a man named Earl, who was dying of cancer.
You see, I had been taught that whatever believers might ask in prayerful agreement would be done by our Father!
Earl, the man for whom I would boldly intercede, did indeed pass his cancer that very night. The story, as told me by his brother the next day, was of Earl inquiring of the nurse as she returned to his bedside, "whether she was a nurse or an angel!"
He told of seeing a great light in his hospital room, followed by an urgency to evacuate his bowels. The nurse had entered just as this bewildered man, later declared free of cancer, had exited the restroom.
Those early days were amazing.
Yet, this morning, I sit here aching, laden with pent-up prayers for my country, my black brothers and sisters within our mostly segregated churches. Churches, so many distanced from any miraculous expectations of God, for whom my heart still ardently hopes.
Many of our clergy only trusting that their attempts at technology would sustain their purse through this ravenous pandemic, and the political madness that has so divided our land.
I guess I should just turn on some praise music, enjoy my blessings, while ignoring my heart. That's apparently how so many of my German brothers and sisters endured a similar spiritual and political scapegoating in their day.
My first paragraph, and the unintended sarcasm in the one above, surely reveals my inner struggle!