My Heart Aches for America

America suffered another tragic shooting today.

The Reverend Billy Graham published a letter to America a few weeks ago that seems almost to speak of it when he says, “My heart aches for America.”  Here’s an excerpt of what he wrote:

Some years ago, my wife, Ruth, was reading the draft of a book I was writing. When she finished a section describing the terrible downward spiral of our nation’s moral standards and the idolatry of worshiping false gods such as technology and sex, she startled me by exclaiming, “If God doesn’t punish America, He’ll have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.”

She was probably thinking of a passage in Ezekiel where God tells why He brought those cities to ruin. “Now this was the sin of … Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen” (Ezekiel 16:49–50, NIV).

I wonder what Ruth would think of America if she were alive today. In the years since she made that remark, millions of babies have been aborted and our nation seems largely unconcerned. Self-centered indulgence, pride, and a lack of shame over sin are now emblems of the American lifestyle. 

Just a few weeks ago in a prominent city in the South, Christian chaplains who serve the police department were ordered to no longer mention the Name of Jesus in prayer. It was reported that during a recent police-sponsored event, the only person allowed to pray was someone who addressed “the being in the room.” Similar scenarios are now commonplace in towns across America. Our society strives to avoid any possibility of offending anyone—except God.

Yet the farther we get from God, the more the world spirals out of control. 

My heart aches for America and its deceived people. The wonderful news is that our Lord is a God of mercy, and He responds to repentance. In Jonah’s day, Nineveh was the lone world superpower—wealthy, unconcerned, and self-centered. When the Prophet Jonah finally traveled to Nineveh and proclaimed God’s warning, people heard and repented.

I believe the same thing can happen once again, this time in our nation. 

I believe that Rev Graham is right. Revival can come to our nation. But we need to stop waiting for a politician or a preacher on a white horse to bring it. It’s up to us, Jesus’ followers, no matter who we are or where we live, to do our part in bringing the Kingdom. We know the antidote to evil. It isn’t something we can “give” to other people like a dose of medicine. We have to live it out in front of them so that they will “catch” it from us. 

We can do that by living our faith in the simple dailiness of our lives. We can do it by not cutting corners, not cheating, lying, stealing, hurting others. We can do it by keeping our promises, including the ones we made when we said “I do.” We can do it by being there with our children in the dailiness of their lives.

We can do it by holding our heads up and being proud, not of ourselves, but of Our Savior, Jesus Christ. No American Christian should ever stand idly by while Jesus is insulted and degraded in front of them. Unlike many of our brothers and sisters, we do not face death for standing up for Jesus. We may be ridiculed or lose a few of the people we pal around with, but we won’t be burned alive or beheaded. 

Don’t let anyone bully you into behaving as if you are ashamed of Jesus. Be civil. Be courteous. But also be resolute. Uncomfortable silence in the face of deliberate mockery of Our Lord is a form of assent. 

We bring the Kingdom to those around us when we live it. Make no mistake about it; courage attracts, faithfulness slowly changes mockery into respect, and love heals. We should live our lives in such a way that other people know without being told that Jesus Christ is our Lord. That is our calling. 

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44 comments

  1. Mrs. Hamilton,

    indeed we need to stand up for our Lord, but equally true is your comment about living it. It takes great strength to live our faith, to be the worksmanship of God, to as much as it depends on us, living at peace with others, that they may know God’s love.

    A challenge that can only come, from looking to the cross – and grasping the love that turns it into a message, into the way of life He has called all who trust in Him to…

    Not to let someone cause you to suffer – but to mourn and suffer in such a way that God’s love for them is revealed.

    Blessings on you as you walk this walk in your life

    1. Wow! What a beautiful — and true — statement!

      “A challenge that can only come, from looking to the cross – and grasping the love that turns it into a message, into the way of life”

  2. “Unlike many of our brothers and sisters, we do not face death for standing up for Jesus. We may be ridiculed or lose a few of the people we pal around with, but we won’t be burned alive or beheaded. ”

    Yet, but we will if we allow it.

  3. Rebecca, awesome blog post and so true. We can’t be ashamed of Jesus, if we are we are not going to make any impact in this life. Playing it safe is not what God wants us to do. Going to start following your blog, looking forward to more well written and thoughtful blogs from you. 🙂

    1. I believe this absolutely.

      “Playing it safe is not what God wants us to do.”

      1. There’s no greater time in the history of America where our religious freedom is at stake. As believers, we cannot afford to remain silent when hot-button issues come up. We can speak confidently and boldly because we are on the side of righteousness. I’ve lost several friends and a few family members who think that I’ve gotten weird because I’ve become very vocal in my beliefs, but I refuse to let my relationship with them be more important than my obedience to Christ.

        1. Thank you for this great comment!

  4. Right as always. I only wish you said that RIGHT NOW, “we do not face death for standing up for Jesus.” It doesn’t mean that it can never happen. When good people do nothing evil triumphs. The Nazis started off by cordially explaining to them that would be moved to other communities to work etc. It ended in something entirely different. We must watch the inching forward to what could become a very evil end. Be ever watchful.

  5. “faithfulness slowly changes mockery into respect…” that is so true Rebecca. I used to get mocked at school for Jesus’ sake, but by the end of my schooling, they no longer mocked me, but respected me. Not because I backed down from my beliefs, but because they ended up respecting me for standing up for what I believed. Sadly, I never saw a convert, but I’m sure they’ll never forget the example I lived at the time. Funny thing is, I may have left school respected, but then I got a job and as soon as I told them I was a Chrisitian, there came the mockery again!!! 3 years into that job however, they, too, respected me. I feel they were my strongest days as a Christian. Nowadays, I have a job with Aboriginal people who for the most part, respect Christians for the role they played in protecting them against the Government back in the days when Aboriginal people here weren’t even considered human and were allowed to be shot for sport.

    It’s weird how I reflect back on times of ridicule and miss it…!!

    Anyway, I haven’t seen the news on another shooting….so sad for America at this time, what a tragedy…I pray for comfort and peace for all affected…

    1. Thank you for your prayers for America.

      I think you’re right. Standing for Jesus in the face of criticism and ridicule does strengthen our faith. I am impressed by your story … and your strength!

  6. Thank you for this post. Very empowering.

    1. Thank you Lily. I want Public Catholic to be empowering.

  7. Natasha Metzler · ·

    wonderfully put. Amen and amen.

    1. Thank you Natasha.

    1. Thanks for the re-blog!

  8. In the. 66’s when I was a young girl my father would say, “one day we will have to hide our Bible’s beause the government will want us not to read them.”. I see the beginnings of that now. However I do personally know the Lord as my saviour, and He will provide for Me. Bless the Graham family and all the lost souls have have helped. And bless you Rebeca for printing this piece in your blog.

  9. The process has been going on for a time now – the process by which Christians are moving from a position of assumed security to one where to be a Christian in the public sphere is to risk at best, ridicule, and at worst persecution. Your great country is less advanced down that route than Europe, but unless you stop it now, you will end up in the same pit we are in. God Bless America, and may you, once again, rescue the world through your exertions and example.

    1. Wise words Jessica, and kind ones. Thank you.

  10. Bold and on target. Sharing.

    1. Thank you for sharing this.

  11. I want to click “like” on everyones comment too! Well said everyone….my mother was a young girl when Hitler took over and I feel as if I am living her story. God bless and protect us as we enter into this new world.

  12. I read the letter from Reverend Graham and my heart aches as well.
    “Uncomfortable silence in the face of deliberate mockery of Our Lord is a form of assent.“
    That is the absolute truth and thank you for standing up for the cause of Christ.

    1. Thank you Jennifer.

  13. Thank you Barbara for the likes on my blog. I am Canadian, not American, Mennonite, not Catholic, but I say a hearty Amen! to your thoughts on revival and on living our faith in Jesus Christ. It wasn’t politicians who got our society into this mess and they certainly can’t get us out of it. As for preachers . . . well, if we want preachers who will tell us that everything is OK between us and God, even if we trample underfoot the teachings of the Word of God, that is the kind of preachers we will get. We need to want preachers who will tell us the truth, even if it hurts.

  14. My heart broke for this nation on 9-11. I ask god what I could do the answer was just get men to talk to me and I will do the rest. That is what Men of One Accord is all about men becoming men of God with a heart of repentance.

  15. Katie Prescott Beasley · ·

    “We should live our lives in such a way that other people know without being told that Jesus Christ is our Lord. That is our calling.”

    Exactly. I love this post. Thank you so much for publishing it.

    1. Thank you again Katie.

  16. Somehow I just knew you would have something profound to say about this shooting. I am glad to have come upon your blog. The only thing that is going to change the hatred that simmers in this country is for those of us who call ourselves Christians to be the Light and the Love and the voice of Truth He called us to be.

    1. True. Thank you for saying this. Thanks also for the re-blog!

      “The only thing that is going to change the hatred that simmers in this country is for those of us who call ourselves Christians to be the Light and the Love and the voice of Truth He called us to be.”

  17. Garrick D. Conner · ·

    Rebecca, your ability to cut through the muck and state the truth is a gift from God — and I mean that sincerely. Thank you for constantly encouraging other believers to stand up for Jesus, to call evil what it is, and to lead boldly, knowing that in Christ we have nothing to fear. I pray that Christians in our nation who have bought into the pacifistic mentality will realize that the world would be a far different place were it not for vigilant, vocal, and valiant souls like William Wilberforce, Harriet Tubman, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Oh, how we need godly men and women at this critical point in time, because as I often explain it, since the fall of mankind, our world’s default setting has been atrophy and decline. It’s up to us to be salt and light. Keep fighting the good fight, friend, knowing that you are making a profound difference.

    1. Thank you Garrick. Back at you!

  18. Amen! We as Christians need to rise up and be a powerful force to save America!
    Great Post! And God Bless You!

  19. toseekhimwithallofmyheart · ·

    Oh my goodness….this is another AWESOME post. This is so, so true. Every single word of it. Thank you so much for being so forthright and sincere. Time for dinner right now, but I’ll be back here to read more!

    1. I’m heading off to dinner soon myself! Thanks for your kind comment.

  20. lbkennett · ·

    People need the Lord. As much as I grieve over the state of this country, I grieve all the more over the state of church. Society rots when the church stops being “the salt of the earth.” Good post Rebecca. Keep writing!

    1. So true. Thank you.

      “People need the Lord. As much as I grieve over the state of this country, I grieve all the more over the state of church. Society rots when the church stops being “the salt of the earth.””

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