“if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place.” 2 Chronicles 7:14-15
Tuesday around noon, walking through the park with my parents and my granddaughter, the thought crossed my mind that people were – at that moment – making critically important decisions regarding the future of our country as they voted in the “Super-Tuesday” primaries.
Here in North Carolina we won’t go to the polls for a couple more weeks. But when we do, it’s my prayer that everyone has this image (above) – or one like it – in their minds. Because what the picture says is everything.
Just in case you’re not seeing it the same way as I am, let me interpret:
- It’s great-grandma Grace and Beks.
- It’s someone who was already more than three times Beks’ age when World War Two broke out in 1939, playing with someone who wasn’t even imagined (other than in the mind of God) until 12-plus years beyond the turn of the new millennium.
- It’s more than fourscore years of loving God with deliberate purpose… alongside a child who’s belief is more straightforward because – maybe – she’s young enough to still remember.
- It’s the purity of naiveté, together with the purity of the refiner’s fire.
- It’s history talking a stroll with the future; yesterday bumping up against tomorrow; faithfulness holding hands with promise.
Yes, I like that one: it’s faithfulness holding hands with promise.
This must be at the heart of our ethos, our guiding sense of ideal as we look to what is next, as we choose leadership for the America we love and hope for.
Rather than the obdurate, belligerent, bullying, reactionary politics of anger and confrontation, we need to see this: Faithfulness to the principles that founded America holding hands with the promise that is tomorrow.
When we look to the future, we must do so with our hearts and souls firmly planted in the commitment and the years of experience that make the present at the same time both beautiful and fragile.
MY HEART IS FULL! When I see my mum holding hands with my granddaughter, guiding her along in her play, my heart is full because I know the light will never go out so long as there are relationships built on love and trust.
The idea of cultivating relationships built on love and trust is not an unreasonable political goal. This nation was founded on the idea that we not only could, but should hold hands and work together with folk across the ideological bandwidth.
Learn something from these photographs, friends. Faithfulness holding hands with Promise.
“Believe me, I’ve chosen and sanctified this Temple that you have built: My Name is stamped on it forever; my eyes are on it and my heart in it always. As for you, if you live in my presence as your father David lived, pure in heart and action, living the life I’ve set out for you, attentively obedient to my guidance and judgments, then I’ll back your kingly rule over Israel—make it a sure thing on a sure foundation.” – 2 Chronicles 7:14-18 – The Message)