Candle light vigils have become a way of American life, haven’t they?
Candle light vigils have become a way of American life, haven’t they? Columbine, Oklahoma City, September 11, and now Virginia Tech. And a grieving public that privately wonders when the insanity will ever end. Anybody know? Our politicians haven’t found the answer. Nor have our law enforcement agencies. Nor have our psychologists and school counselors. Nor have the media. Nor has the public. Nobody knows how to stop the carnage, the massacres, “the terror by night . . . the arrow that flies by day . . . the pestilence that walks in darkness . . . the destruction that lays waste at noonday” (Psalm 91:5, 6). I have an aged friend in South Africa whom I met through our global telecast. Several years ago he was watching, wrote me a letter, and thus began our long-distance friendship. He is of another faith community. But he is a man of prayer. Recently he received an impression from God that he felt compelled to share with me. He wrote in February—I received his letter this week. He is worried for the future of this nation (which may not be an uncommon response from those who watch us from afar). He offered a description of what he believes is yet to come. “I write this under great duress.” But then again, you and I don’t need a prayer warrior half a world away to be reminded that we live in a very troubled nation and world. Then shall we be afraid? It is precisely that query God addresses in Psalm 91 with these reassuring words: “You shall not be afraid . . . No evil shall befall you . . . For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.” So then, rather than fear, let us be moved and motivated by a deepening compassion for a society so often without answers, too often without hope. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock,” is the apocalyptic assurance of Christ (Revelation 3:20). In this hour when he is “even at the door,” shall we not pledge our careers, our resources, our time, our best energies to him who is the only Hope and Salvation of our civilization—and share him with our world?