Our pastures have been plundered. At least mine have. And it’s taken only a couple days of Supreme Court hearings to do it.
Thursday—the day one terrified woman doctor and one emotional male judge testify. I carry my phone around so I can watch and listen while I pack. We plan a trip to our land where pastures hug the mountains.
Friday—the day a judicial committee meets to vote. I turn on my C-span app so I can listen with bated breath as I drive toward those pastures through scanty radio coverage.
Saturday—the day of rest. I hug my grandchildren and their momma and daddy and do not talk politics.
Sunday—the day spent where cell coverage equals one bar. Maybe. I wake slow to a cool, deep fog outside the screen, serve tea to my husband in bed, and rise when the sun has dried the pasture enough to mow.
Monday—a day of weed-whacking and clouds golden with sunset. I watch a doe glide with slender legs through thick grass. Later, I stare into our campfire’s glow and pray for my nation.
Tuesday—a day of homeward travel. I spend the night unpacking and doing laundry. I catch up on emails and surf the net for news. I sift through comments and commentary. Both sides. I absorb crazy-making words. I eat stuff I shouldn’t and wonder where my faith has gone. Digesting news makes me sick to my stomach.
Am I sick because my passion is to share how a culture of silence has affected me personally? Or does my stomach churn because I’m in the process of telling a story of how God healed and integrated a woman who suffered extreme abuse in childhood? Yep, our nation’s issues hit close.
Most likely, I feel nauseous because the differing views come from voices I love with all my heart.
Sleep overtakes me in the wee hours of morning.
Wednesday—a day to begin again—I sit on the front porch where morning sunlight filters fresh over stately oaks. I open my Bible to where I left off five days ago. Ezekiel, chapter thirty-six.
“Aha,” The enemy has said of us, “the ancient heights have become our possession. The enemy, that father of lies, rubs gleeful hands together. His tone holds only malice. It’s as though he is saying to me, to my nation: Now, amidst your cacophony of accusation and blame casting, amidst voices clamoring to release a lifetime of pain, amidst a naked grasping for power, chaos reigns. Just the way I like it. I have ravaged and hounded you from every side. I win.
God, help us. This is getting personal. I read on. Aloud.
“This is what the Sovereign Lord says to the mountains and hills … to the desolate ruins … that have been plundered … With burning zeal, I have spoken against [your enemy] for with glee and malice in their hearts they made my land their own possession so that they might plunder its pastureland.” (Verses 4 and 5)
“Father,” I whisper, “It’s not just my nation that has been plundered. It’s my spirit. My pastureland. And much of it is my own fault—my wrong choices, like you say here in verse seventeen. Too many times have I’ve taken my focus off of you and stopped following Jesus.”
I keep reading.
“I am going to do these things for the sake of my holy name which you have profaned … I will show the holiness of my great name … Then the nations will know that I am the Lord … when I show myself holy through you before their eyes.”
Amazing! You will show yourself holy through me. How?
“I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean.” My voice caresses his answer—words I have underlined in the past. “I will cleanse you from all your impurities …”
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you. I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws … You will be my person and I will be your God. I will call for the grain and make it plentiful … I will increase the fruit of the trees and the crops of the field … the desolate land will be cultivated … this land that was laid waste….”
That’s the land of my spirit, Lord.
“They will say, ‘This land that was laid waste has become like the garden of Eden.’ Then [others] will know that I the Lord have rebuilt what was destroyed and have replanted what was desolate. I the Lord have spoken, and I will do it.”
“Father, I wish you could infuse my whole nation with a new spirit, but I can only take care of mine. Yet, I want to help calm the chaos. As you replant my own plundered fields, perhaps others will see and take notice. Please, show yourself holy through me.”
Today—a day my plundered pastures are restored. I click off C-span, open my computer, and follow my passion.
Has your spirit, your pasture, been plundered lately? How has God restored you?