In the picture, they’re gathered around, arms reaching. Some hands are lifted in supplication, and others are touching a man. In the center. The one in the middle of the group. And a voice, it’s raising in prayer…
It’s early in the morning. In the darkness, my slumbering mind stirs, awakens. Like a diver swimming up from the deep, consciousness dawns, and I realize that I have been dreaming.
About a gathering of high school kids. Apparently, they’ve been listening to a speaker (an assembly?), and before the man leaves, they’ve gathered to lay hands on him and pray. A boy, dream-faceless, is leading those assembled in prayer. For the man, the one in the center.
And the man in the center was once a president.
Wakening, now, his name, his face are right smack dab in my head. In my heart, and Papa’s Spirit, He’s whisp’ring, “That man, he doesn’t know Love.”
Huh. How odd. A dream with the strangest impression. “No love. He doesn’t know Love.”
In full day’s light, I’m driving to town on my way to a meeting, and the whisper, it sounds yet again. “That man has never known real love.”
I’m listening. And then I do what I know to do even though it feels odd.
I pray. For this man who once was a president.
Of all the presidents in modern history, he was one I liked least. I was critical. From a great distance, I’d judged him. Despised him. Detested. And I surely did this one thing more–I wrote him off.
I did, feeling that he was past saving. Past redemption, this man who doesn’t know Love.
So I begin to pray from a heart that has softened, “Papa, show him Your love. Jesus, have compassion mercy. Don’t let him die without knowing Your love.”
I’m seeing him now with the eyes of the Savior, the One who died for us all. Who went down to hell for the last, lost and least; took the keys from satan himself.
He did it for you. He did it for me, and He did it (I remember) for that man.
God, as Peter said, “is no respecter of persons.” And then he added this, too, that God is not slow in keeping His promise, but “is patient, not wanting anyone to perish, but that all will come to repentance (2 Pet. 3:9).”
How kind is the Lord. How loving. How persistent. He pursued you, and He’s pursued me. And I know He’s pursuing another. So I’ll pray.
The dream was circa 2016. The man was Bill Clinton. Now, years later, I hear the hate-filled voices shrieking in the land from Christian and non-Christians alike, and I shudder. For the hatred doesn’t come from a source of Light, but the dark.
If we call ourselves Christians, then we ought to have hearts that are tuned in by prayer. We need hearts that are able to love even if we strongly disagree.
“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. (Lk. 6:32)”
Can you pray for President Obama, Joe Biden, and Nancy Pelosi? Can you pray for President Trump, Mike Pence, and Mitch McConnell? Can you pray for their wellbeing? Can you ask the Lord for mercy on their behalf?
If not, perhaps it’s time to be silent. To be still. To receive, first, the Love that we need so that we will have it to give. And then go forward in Love with a mouth that’s seasoned by grace.
Warmly this day,