As the rain comes down from heaven and waters the earth, making it bud and flourish so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so shall my word achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
- Isaiah 55:10-11
You want to laugh, and would if the subject werent so serious and the gut-wrenching in your stomach didnt stop the guffaws in mid-throat.
First, we spend weeks and years in controversy over whether or not the Ten Commandments may be seen, recited or, God forbid (he wouldnt), allowed to influence thought and law in our increasingly (they think) secularized nation. Then, we conduct services all across the country to commemorate the terrible events of Sept. 11, 2001, and Gods name blares from bullhorns, pours from the mouths of singing children, and even finds its way into speeches by government leaders. Yes, our thou-shalt-not-merge-church-and-state government, the one secularists cheer whenever one more reference to the Judeo-Christian God is stricken from the public trough.
But have you noticed? The secularists are very good in a debate, but they are terrible when it comes to death. They hire their best legal minds to undot hair-splitting Is and uncross offensive Ts on any topic they deem remotely unconstitutional, yet have no one on staff to explain - or legalize - the humanly unexplainable.
It happens all the time, whenever a high-profile leader dies, a plane or spacecraft falls from the sky, or disaster devastates our land or its people. It happened again 10 days ago:
During a moment of silence at New Yorks Ground Zero, a bagpiper plays: Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound When mortal life shall cease (and) weve been (in heaven) ten thousand years weve no less days to sing Gods praise than when wed first begun. We hear the melody again and again, on every news report, at hundreds of local services, throughout the day.
Following a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery to honor those who died at the Pentagon two years ago, a bugler plays, Day is done, gone the sun safely rest, God is nigh. Other buglers repeat the traditional, musical benediction on other military installations as the day and the ceremonies continue.
In a field in Shanksville, Penn., an emotional speaker ends his tribute to those who died saving other lives with these words: God bless Flight 93; God bless America. His final three words are echoed in other speeches, in other communities, all day long.
Choirs, soloists, and the children crowd around microphones, but not to sing the secular or the sentimental. Everywhere we hear, and hum along: From the mountains, to the prairies, to the oceans white with foam, God bless America, my home, sweet home America, America! God shed his grace on thee Glory, glory, hallelujah! His truth is marching on!
ABCs Good Morning, America, replays the segment aired two years ago as the planes were hitting the World Trade Center, and the towers were about to fall. The on-scene reporter gives matter-of-fact information about the first crash, until Oh, my God! he exclaims, as a second plane flies into the second tower. Unscripted, no time to choose his words. Strange, isnt it, that he didnt say, What the devil? or some other nondescript phrase instead.
I can hear the breathless worriers now: Gotta get rid of the Ten Commandments in a courthouse gotta remove those two religiously tainted words from the Pledge of Allegiance gotta stamp out God rather than stomp on a few, free-to-be-you-and-me toes in this land of freedom from everyone elses values but my own.
Maybe, in your eyes, you gotta try to do all this, but you wont succeed. As long as the earth remains and God remains in control of the days, the seasons, and the rain that waters the earth and makes it bud and flourish (Isaiah 55:10), its a safe bet God will still be visible in our land and on our lips, just as he is from the mountains, to the prairies, and to the oceans, white with foam.
(Barbara Seaborn is a local free-lance writer. E-mail comments to email@example.com.)
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