By Andrea Joy Moede
Picture this scenario with me for a quick second. Your child comes running to you, crying and as out of sorts as you’ve ever seen them. As you desperately try to figure out what is wrong, you see that the oversized bandage on their knee is gaping and hanging off in different places. You quickly realize that not only does the bandage need to be changed, but the wound underneath also needs attention.
Despite that, what your upset child wants more than anything is for you to smooth it back on and send them on their way to play again. As a responsible caregiver, though, that cannot be your course of action. This wound you thought you had handled days earlier must be cleaned and dressed again. Knowing it will cause them pain, you also know it is what’s best in the long-term.
Calming them as best you can, here comes the big moment. You firmly grab two corners of the bandage and give it a sudden rip. Whoa! Now they’re really mad and crying, even more, feeling betrayed and angry. Clearly, they’re going to need some emotional care and sympathy before you can begin to clean and bandage their knee back up again.
This very setting is where we find ourselves in the United States of America. It’s an ugly place we don’t want to be, full of tears and moaning to be sure. While none of us relish the hysterics, it is helpful to realize we are on a path that will lead to our ultimate healing, if we can stay the course.
Issues and tensions among our people have run amuck for decades. They have been buried over and over again and are now absolutely festering underneath the bandages. This time is full of a collective groan of people who cannot believe the bandage just got ripped off! They wanted it to be smoothed back on, so they could simply go out and play again.
These childish impulses are understandable because no one wants to feel pain. However, with maturity comes an appreciation of time and the long-term effects of our decisions. Our citizens must wake up to the fact that our country will not get better until we do the hard thing. We must pull back the covers of our wounds, take a look at them in the light (ew, I know), disinfect them as painful as it may be, bandage them well, and patiently allow the healing to begin anew.
Even now as, you’re reading this, some may be thinking this is all too dramatic. Here is the thinking of that mindset: “We are just in a pandemic. Everything will be alright once it’s over.” Is it, though? Ask yourself why? Why is a virus that has proved no more deadly than the flu being used to shut down our society in ways never before imagined? Alongside this mind-boggling situation are the myriads of exposures and changes taking place all across our society. If you aren’t paying attention, you’d be tempted to think the timing of all these “coincidences” is shocking!
Human trafficking rings are being discovered and broken up in numbers we used to only dream of. The prices of prescription drugs are finally coming down, after 50+ years of successive increases in prices. Uniform standards and training are being applied to law enforcement organizations on a nationwide level for the first time. Terrorist groups are being dismantled quickly and without much fanfare at all. These are the very same groups that used to brazenly behead people live on TV. International agreements and organizations are being withdrawn from at a shocking rate, as America demands that they be reworked in a way that does not disadvantage us any longer.
One new announcement I saw today is the ongoing preservation of our national parks with the passage of the Great American Outdoors Act. These lands and facilities have been decaying without funding for decades, and now suddenly (along with everything else) their plight has been seen and addressed. This is just one of many “happenings” that are being virtually ignored by the news. These are major policy shifts that are correcting the course of our nation, so why is no one discussing them?
Could all of these data points really be just coincidence? Why would they be happening simultaneously as we battle a pandemic and head into a Presidential election? Is there more going on here than meets the eye?
I believe we truly do find ourselves in the shoes of the crying child described above. In general, America just wants things to go back to normal already so that we can play again. However, there is a much bigger story unfolding if we are paying attention.
God is moving in unprecedented ways to right the wrongs of previous generations. This is all towards an end of absolute good in mind! His plan continues to involve the rescue of nations by the power of the name of Jesus. The United States of America has a huge role to play in the world, but we must allow ourselves to go through this painful yet healing time.
As I think about my children and the world they are going to live in, I know that sticking my head in the sand (or smoothing the bandage back over) cannot be my response this time. I must be awake to the happenings of the day, an active participant that finds solace in knowing this tumult will be fruitful. It will all be worth it to watch them grow up under the stars and stripes: this country that was founded to preserve liberty and justice for all.
So if you’re with me, shut off the Netflix (and the news) and head into your prayer closet today. Ask our Father to continue to move in this land. Ask Him to expose all of the darkness that is killing us. Ask Him to preserve the lives and livelihoods of every American. Ask Him to pour out His love that all may find comfort during this time. And while we’re at it, let’s all try to keep the hysterics to a minimum too, okay?