If you know me well, there are several important facts that are quite clear. I love my country. It is evident to me that as a nation, God has blessed us with abundant resources, two protecting ocean borders, and a work ethic driven by the “American dream“ for success. In return, our covenant with Him has been prayer communications, reliance on his provision, and gratitude for all we have been given, until recently anyway.
On Saturday, I went to the dry cleaner to pick up those nice, crisply-pressed shirts that I need in my business. The usual people at the counter have been gone for months with activity running at about 25% of normal due to the flu fears. The owners, Vince and his wife Claire, were doing the work of the former seven. He was having a hard time just making his rent.
It shouldn’t have surprised me that Vince was gone. Instead, there was a man wearing a turban, and he was clearly untrained on the computer system for looking up my order. Then he couldn’t find my shirts. He got on his phone and spoke to someone in a foreign tongue. A younger, turbaned fellow showed up, and our transaction was quickly concluded.
From my question “Where is Vince?“ to my thoughts since, I have come to a conclusion. Despite my supposed lack of prejudice, it soon became clear that I was thinking more about the turban than the struggle of the man dealing with my shirts. My mind asked, “What is a Sikh? What is his religion? Should I find another cleaner?“ And finally “Bob, what is wrong with your heart that you would think such things?“
If I truly believe in equality in the American dream, shouldn’t everyone have the same chance as I have been given when they pursue it legally? Can’t they be endowed with the opportunity to seek the dream, too? It became clear that I needed to repent; though no one would ever know my thoughts, except The One who knows all.
A large percentage of men, Christian or otherwise, cheat on their wives through pornography or with another actual lover. Even more women do so through fantasy. The effect is the same as it diminishes the marriage. If we truly desire restoration and unity across the broad expanse of the American experience, we need to examine the loyalty in our hearts. We should let go of every hindering concept that chips away at the promises we made to our spouses, our nation, and our God.
Though invisible to others, each of us knows our own sins that separate us from these loyalties. We also know the gratitude, and the appropriate response we should have for our many blessings.
No bureaucracy, no law, no governor can legislate the kind of repentance of which I speak. It is personal and at the deepest level of who we are. THAT is what will restore the unity we desperately need in our families, our neighborhoods, and our country. We need God for our national protection, and God help us if we give Him up and rely on the goodness of mankind alone.
Psalm 37:27-28 “Turn from evil and do good; then you will dwell in the land forever. For the Lord loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones.”