Recently I moved to the Olympic Peninsula, in Washington, the state I was born and raised in. I bought a great London Fog rain jacket from my new favorite thrift shop and a pair of inexpensive black, high top rubber boots, which I can be seen wearing at the slightest provocation of dampness. I’m home!
Today, I am humbled and thankful for my national Christian ancestors; those who fled the beautiful, history making, Monarch-mandated-church in England, in pursuit of peace to worship as they saw fit. Simple people of that land, boarding and sailing on ships; most leaving behind their home, forever; faced with possible death at sea, certain illness, probably at times terrified, yet trusting God for an unknown future. After many weeks at sea, they can be imagined disembarking on the stark, frigid shore; cold, fearful yet hopeful; surely in any number of long dark nights, longing for home and routine. Setting foot upon a land without civilization’s comforts; no welcoming raucous band here, no boardwalk, no streetlights, no Dickensian world awaiting; a foreign, vast unknown. Plymouth Rock – a small, flattish – but now iconic cracked stone – that our weary ancestors first set a wobbly foot upon, lodged in the windswept, stinking coastal mud, surrounded by shrill seagulls, greeted with a handshake by the damp cold, an embracing hug by bone chilling winds. No handy cobbler available, to provide yet invented, wonderfully dry rubber boots for wet, cold feet; no general store filled with cloth to repair or remake clothing in ruins and tatters and no hope of supplies of coffee, tea, flour, basic food supplies or anything else for months and months to come.
These people were Bible believing, bible toting (the fortunate few that possessed one) Christians; a people hatefully maligned for their staunch faithfulness to God from the beginning of the church to this day. The lists are long of those who burned at the stake unwilling to deny God and his Word. Hear this sobering statistic: there are over 74 million martyrs under God’s alter, waiting somewhat impatiently for clean, white robes and Christ’s second advent, and the number grows daily somewhere between 400 and 500. While we view mind numbing repeat plays of close up shots of an inch of snow – when it dares to fall in balmy western Washington – and while the national news pummels our minds non-stop with every imaginable evil they can voyeur for our viewing satisfaction – remember this: Today, and every single day, around 500 bible believing, Christ following martyrs are murdered, sometimes heinously, and our media is silent.
On my recent trip to England I stood before various memorials, alternately humbled by those uncompromising souls and sharply aware of the ignorance of tourists clowning for a photograph before a marker ‘near the location’ where the likes of William Tyndale and many, many others gave their lives, rather than tolerate oppression and the slippery slope of concession. I am emboldened by their fierce faith. Awestruck by those that decided to make a run for it, to the shores of America.
Many Pilgrims starved – hunger most of us in America rarely, if ever, have known. They walked on bloodied, frozen feet. It is nearly impossible for a warm, housed, comfortable American to consider the enormity of what they gave up and what they endured – because of their desire to practice their Christian faith – so that we could arrive at today looking forward to the smell of a roasting turkey; friends, family, football; traditions that are deep and dear to our national psyche.
Today at some point, I am going to pull on my rubber boots and go down to the inlet, near my home, here in Washington. I will stand there, likely alone, and talk with God about our country and how and what I, a simple woman, am to do to help us remember the great cost that was paid to get us here, to shine light on the spiritual battle that continues to pound this country into a tolerant, politically correct, weakened, lukewarm stew of willful ignorance, spouting arrogant demands for innumerable ‘rights’ and ‘choices’.
The spiritual boundaries that kept us safe for so long have been stepped over, broken and trampled into near oblivion. Our country tolerates every kind of evil. Drugs continue to destroy our loved ones, pornography is rampant and destructive, the sex trade is booming, the media is our unofficial god, athletes and actors our idols of choice. Pharma and insurance reign over the medical world (what happened to the country Doctor who knew and cared for his patients?). You surely know these things. We that try to stem the flow are like little children with our fingers poked in the hole in the dam. We stop and see we are in trouble, but are overwhelmed by so much that we throw another log on the fire, put our feet up and turn on the news, because we can’t cope with the magnitude. Guilt is a worthless motivator, conviction is what moves us. I’m thinking out loud and hope you will think, too, in your own slice of solitude, sometime during this holiday weekend, about our country and about your concerns for her.
God alone can help us. May we unashamedly seek Him; ask him what we, as individuals, are to do in our little corner of this massive country and listen to Him as he continues to shed His grace upon us.
Worth a read: http://www.history.com/topics/pilgrims