Dear President Obama, Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump,
It is confession time. I've been wildy tempted to think and speak ill of each of you at different times in the last number of years. (You would have been tempted to think ill of me too, I'm sure, if all the cameras and recording devices in the free world were trained on me as often as they are on you all.)
Confession means essentially to agree with God. So, it is confession time.
I believe God will bless our America even more: As we learn to bless and not curse our leaders. (I know, right? Ouch.)
The first thing God did was speak and He said let there be light. Light sends darkness packing. Dear Leaders, we've not prayed first for you--as the Guidebook instructs. We've allowed our "views"--these attack sites, feeds and ads to turn our love off. We seem to have forgotten that eagles fly best with both the left and right wings.
We've shamed you by seeing and saying you did this, therefore you are this. We judged you, accused and condemned you. We have been quick to speak, slow to listen and quick to anger. We have not lifted you up; we have put you down. The one who answers before he hears a matter isn't wise and yet we've so often insisted you answer us right now almost before you even have a chance to hear the question, let alone really process it.
On behalf of us, I'm sorry. We will learn, ponder how and do better.
You know when Daniel prayed it was on behalf of everybody in his country, for all of his people (and if I remember correctly, his various administrations were sufficiently dark, wrong and sideways). I hope you pray for us, too.
Daniel's heart was this rarity among men: steadfastly he was for them and he knew he was put there to help them if they needed him.
Dear Leaders, we don't have to agree with you to be for you, for heaven's sake. We say we are for you. Oh, not necessarily everything you believe: but we are for you.
On behalf of us, again: we are sorry. We will be quicker to listen, learn and do better.
My question is: What if it is our pointing the finger and speaking wickedness is actually creating a lot of the nightly wow? Once upon a time, the people sent a goat through the city and heaped their curses with shouts and rage upon the poor brute--until at the end of his short walk through their metro that scapegoat died from the abuse just outside the city gates.
On behalf of us, I'm sorry. We will be slower to speak, learn and do better.
What if we've neglected the promise that the power of life is in the tongue--in favor of the guarantee that if not under His watchful eye, its power is death? It is observable if you look closely, the cost of these offices.
What if our cursing each of you has actually amplified, exacerbated even created some of the flotsam in our nightly streams? The tongue is said to be a fire that sets on fire the course of life, set on fire by hell.
Daniel was likely kidnapped as a youth and taken from his homeland, along with his three fiery pals.
Did you know they were likely castrated? Their families likely killed? They changed Daniel's name. Called him someone he wasn't. Made him speak a language foreign to his own.
In the world of politics, you all actually know a bit of what that feels like. And then, you're doing it, too faster than we can get to the stump and it is like a fiery whirlwind of please stop.
On behalf of us, we forgive you. And I'm sorry. We will all be slower to anger, learn and do better.
You know, the Guidebook actually says to pray first for our leaders--not just the ones who agree with me?
I've started to do that--to just say, Hey, Lord, thanks for these--our leaders. You've got them and thank You because they have a big job. They have faults like me; but they want to help like me; so please help them. And I'm finding that I like them. They don't bum me out anymore. I'm grateful for them. But I'm also no longer looking for their faults. They even make me smile.
24-7 news was a tipping point in our nation but there are Daniels (and Danielles) out there. Daniel didn't want to hurt the king with God's interpretation of his nightmare but he spoke the truth to him. Oh I pray you are surrounded with wise counsel; those who know how to speak wisdom and encouragement--how to see and how to speak to you brightly from His great heart. You need it. We do, too. (Oh yeah, Daniel even told one king what his dream was before he was asked to interpret it. At the risk of his own beheading. Tough gig, advising kings.
Daniel's name means God is My Judge and he politely declined to eat what the king offered but asked just as politely for permission to try his diet just for a little while to see if it would work. It worked--his face shone. A friend shared with me this insight recently: when the time came--the lion politely declined to eat Daniel.
On behalf of us, I'm so very sorry our leonine pride hasn't yet fully discovered Daniel's love leaders secrets.
Please: forgive us. We will do better.
This is my simple pledge (with John Williams immortal Olympics trumpets in the background as I type): I will serve Respectfully the President and those in our leadership in prayer and I will bless them and not curse them. I am for them.
On behalf of me, I am very sorry for the times that wasn't true and I hope this finds each of you blessed and rested.