Comforting News


In explaining this poem to one of my sons, I put it this way…. I’m an Elder, and so there are people that I will someday have to answer for. I’m not sure how that will be. I picture the Lord asking what I did to help these people survive their spiritual battles. I may answer, “Well, I tried, but You know… they didn’t want help.” And then the questions I dread: “Did YOU want my help? Did you ASK for my help?”

Silent battles rage around me. People I love, people for whom I must answer to God, are taking fire. The one most effective way for me to protect them is prayer. Instead, I find passive, unhelpful ways to fill my time.

As I wrote in one lament, “I scroll, I stroll, I scrawl.” I do anything but engage in the intense duty of intercession. My son could identify with that mindless, unthreatening hamster wheel of social media and other time-wasters. Can you identify?

Silent battles rage around me. But I choose to be distracted by other things, even news of noisy battles raging elsewhere: foreign wars.

“Here is your duty, man.” I can almost hear the Spirit say. “Here, not there.” But the news distracts; it almost drowns out the Spirit’s intense, insistent, discomforting voice.

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  1. Brad, thank you for this poem. I can relate: the news occupies my time when I could be devoting my energy to better things. “A little folding of the hands to rest…” — and we know the outcome of this proverb. A little browsing of the latest headlines, and… — I am learning this outcome too. Let’s keep each other in our prayers. ST

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