C.C. Prayers, Petitions, & Protests #65

To say that we were few in number would be quite the understatement.  I have grown used to seeing large crowds of people on my TV screen – large, loud, moving mountains kind of crowds of people filling the streets to overflowing, clamoring to be heard.

We did not even fill the parking lot where we gathered to make our petitions known.  Not many would have given us a second look as they passed by.  We were a group that would defy description should someone attempt to label us.  From many different denominations, all shades of skin color could be seen among us as we banded together for our urgent purpose.

We were family coming together to talk to our Father, our Heavenly Father.  We came with our hearts heavy with grief for all the suffering surrounding us on a daily basis.  We have been witnessing the suffering of others while experiencing sadness and suffering of our own.

This is not a time to stand by and remain silent.  And so we gathered together.  We gathered to pray, to petition our God and to protest the evil overtaking our beloved country.  We assembled and we raised our voices to the One who always hears the cries of His children.

We came together in courage, in hope and most importantly in obedience.  You see, 2 Chronicles 7:14-15 gives us this command accompanied by a promise,

“if My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.  Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.”

Our land needs healing.  Our country is being torn apart and torn down right before our eyes.  And so we gathered together in obedience to God’s instruction to humble ourselves, (admit we can’t fix this) seek His face, (ask Him for His wisdom and His ways) turn from our ways, (which are not only wicked but are obviously not working) and pray – pray to God (not protest to God, making demands of Him as if He owed us something or as if we shouldn’t have to suffer)

“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.  But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed.”  (1 Peter 4:12-13)

And so we gathered to cry out to God on behalf of our country and its citizens, ours a ministry of intercession through prayer.  Prayer, the most powerful form of petition and protest.  Prayer from a posture of humility – bended knees, bowed heads, raised hands, crying, repentant hearts, confessing tongues and listening ears.

“The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great effect.”  (James 5:16)

Another translation of this verse in the Living Bible says our prayers have “great power and wonderful results.”  That makes me want to pray even more!  There is something I can do for my country and all the people living in it.  I don’t have to stand helplessly, silently on the sidelines while watching everything burn down around me as people continue killing each other in the streets.

I can pray.  I am commanded to to pray.  I am called to pray.  I have One who is always interceding on my behalf.  It seems only fitting that I should intercede for others even as Jesus is continually interceding for me, pleading my case before a holy God.

” . . .  Christ Jesus, who died – more than that, who was raised to life – is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.”   (Romans 8:34)

So we gathered to pray, to intercede for our country and for those living in it – for all those living under its protections and its freedoms that it has provided over the years for those who live within its jurisdiction.  There was no crowd, no mass mob, no media – we were petitioning an audience of One.

And unlike the protesters/rioters, the mobs full of angry voices all blending together along with the graffiti messages scribbled, merged and melded into one ugly eyesore over what used to be if not the absence of offense to the eyes, actual beauty in artistic form –  unlike the protesters, we have the assurance, the gift of knowing that our voices, our cries, our confessions, our petitions, our requests, our intercessions – are heard, that they are always heard, always – every word.

We were heard that day in the parking lot.  “then will I hear from heaven  . . .   Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.”   (2 Chronicles 7:14-15)

“Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.”  (Isaiah 65:24)

“In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help.  From His temple He heard my voice; my cry came before Him, into His ears.”  (Psalm 18:6)

We didn’t add our voices to the din of public discourse that has deafened every ear to the truth.  Instead, we raised our voices to the One who always hears us.  We cried out to the only One who has the power to change our hearts and to heal our land.

“Before a word is on my tongue You know it completely, O Lord.”  (Psalm 139:4)

The protests are continuing.  Our praying, our praytests, must continue as well.

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  Therefore put on the full armor of God,  . . .  And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.  With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”(Ephesians 6:12-18)

Let us rise up by kneeling down, let us not keep silent but cry out – cry out not to each other but to our God who hears us, to our God who can heal us, to our God who can heal our country.

“But for you who revere My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings.”   (Malachi 4:2)

sincerely,       Grace Day

















Corona Chronicles-True Confessions#64

We are one race, the human race.  We had best learn to recognize ourselves in the faces of others.  God gave us two commands that He said took precedence over all others.

“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  All the law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”  (Matthew 22:37-40)

Life is a gift, a gift from God – a wonderful, precious, mysterious, sacred, holy gift. Therefore, life matters.  And if one life matters, then all lives matter.  If we say one life doesn’t matter, then we denigrate all lives.  But because life does matter, then all lives matter.  Precisely because all lives matter, black lives matter.

Because every life matters, we cannot demean, devalue, diminish, dismiss, destroy nor ignore any life, not even one.  Each life is of infinite value to the Creator, Author and Sustainer of all lives, of each and every life.  When we diminish another’s life, we diminish our own life in the process.

Because God sees every person as of infinite worth, we are to see them in that same way and to treat them accordingly.  Luke 9:48 explains it this way,

“Whoever welcomes this little child in My name welcomes Me; and whoever welcomes Me welcomes the One who sent Me.  For he who is least among you all – he is the greatest.”

Furthermore we are to “Seek justice, encourage the oppressed.  Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.”   (Isaiah 1:17)

Romans 12:13-19 tells us more about how to treat others.  “Share with God’s people who are in need.  Practice hospitality.  Bless those who persecute you;  . . .  Live in harmony with one another.  . . .  Do not repay anyone evil for evil.  . . .   as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.  Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath,”

We are to treat others well because God loves them so well.  “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’ ”   (Matthew 25:40)

“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”   (Matthew 7:12)

A simple solution to the problems of protesting and violence that have plagued our cities for the past month.  If each of us would follow the instructions given to us in the words above, we wouldn’t be experiencing the chaos and the destruction that we witness on a daily basis.

Each one of us is a part of this equation.  We are either a positive or a negative. We are either part of the problem or we are part of the solution.  We are either tearing down or we are building up.  We are inflicting harm or we are bringing healing.

The choice is ours to make anew each day.  Lord, help me to choose Your way.

sincerely,       Grace Day







Corona Chronicles-True Confessions#63

I confess – I’ve been writing a lot about listening lately.  Maybe that’s because there are so many clamoring voices out there, voices muzzled by masks, voices misunderstood and much maligned, creating a din of undecipherable chaos.

Perhaps I and maybe you, too, along with many others are actually hard of hearing, at least when it comes to hearing people we perceive as different from ourselves.  My favorite quote begins “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly . . .”.   Well, I think it may also be true that “it is only with the heart that one can hear rightly.”  I may not need an audiologist, I may need a cardiologist instead.

I may not be hard of hearing after all, but hard of heart.  A heart that is full of hate and anger and fear makes ears deaf to the cries of the people all around.  That heart hears only its own pain, rendering it deaf to the pain of others.

Empathy is not possible without listening.  And an angry, hate-filled, fear filled heart cannot hear any voice but its own.  It has not learned to listen.  We have become a nation of angry voices, with no listeners to receive our words.  But I can know that there is One who always hears me.  You can know that there is One who always hears you.  He hears me even when I feel that there is no one who hears my words, no one who hears my wailing, no one who hears my cries of desperation, my questions seeking answers.  He hears me and He hears you too, dear readers.  Rejoice and be glad!  You are heard!

“Before a word is on my tongue You know it completely, O Lord.”   (Psalm 139:4)

He is listening, He hears me!

“When I called, You answered me; You made me bold and stouthearted.”  (Psalm 138:3)

I need to learn to listen to others like my Heavenly Father listens to me – with attention, with care, with compassion, with understanding –

“My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.”   (James 1:19-20)

“I love the Lord, for He heard my voice; He heard my cry for mercy.  Because He turned His ear to me, I will call on Him as long as I live.”  (Psalm 116:1-2)

“let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance -”  (Proverbs 1:5)

Lord, let me learn to listen to others just as You lovingly listen to me, hearing beyond my words to my heart –

give me ears to hear and help my heart to hear as well –

sincerely,           Grace Day




C.C. Mourning & Memory #62

I have watched a person die before – watched someone battle an illness and lose that battle.  I confess – I hated how helpless it made me feel.  I remember all too well my feelings of helplessness.  I remember feeling powerless to save the person that I loved.  I remember being a captive audience with no where to go, no where to look away.  I was forced to watch.

And now I find myself a captive audience once again.  I have never watched a country die before.  I want to look away, but I can’t.  I want to help my country, but I have no power, I have no platform, I have no voice.  What voice I have is silenced by shame, accusation and innuendo.  The Filter only allows voices of agreement and acquiescence to get through.  There is no place for dissent in this new order of things.  Even big corporations are too cowardly to speak up, unless it is to agree with the rioters in hopes of sparing themselves the wrath of the angry mob.

It is not street names that need to be changed, it is hearts.  Can there be a country with no history?  A country with amnesia has no character, has no clue who she is or how she came to be who she is today.  After every business is burned down, after every beautiful, old building is brought low, after every statue is toppled, every monument and every memorial is defaced and destroyed, every school is renamed, every park renamed, every street, every landmark, every city renamed, what then?

Will there be peace at last?  Will the insatiable appetite of the masked, mindless mob of anonymous, angry, faceless, violent vandals at last be satisfied?  Will our lives be better then?  Will we be freer with every statue gone?  With every reminder of our painful past erased, will justice for all now be a reality?

So far I don’t feel any safer or any freer.  In fact under the tyrannical reign of political correctness, free speech is quickly disappearing.  But I can take hope in these words from Daniel 2:21,

“Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are His.  He changes times and seasons; He sets up kings and deposes them.”

“Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.  The authorities that exist have been established by God.  Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.”  (Romans 13:1-2)

God is sovereign over all the chaos in the streets of our cities, causing death and destruction day after day, night after night.  In a season usually marked by travel, tourists, family vacations, outdoor concerts, eating out and sight seeing, we find ourselves hostages in our own homes in order to escape the violence in our public places such as our streets and our parks.

I am praying that this season of lawlessness will  pass and a season of peace will take its place.  A season of healing and a season of hope would go a long way to revive the life of our wounded country.  If we are no longer free to live our lives without fear, without threat of violence from lawless mobs, then we will no longer be able to hold out the hope of freedom to the oppressed around the globe.  We will ourselves have become the oppressed.

Romans 12:9-21 has words that lead us in the direction of living lives of freedom, of peace and  of justice.

“Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.  Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.  Honor one another above yourselves.  Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.  Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.  Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.   . . .   Live in harmony with one another.    . . .   Do not repay anyone evil for evil.  Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.  If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.  Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is Mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.  On the contrary: ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.’  . . . Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

It is hard to put these words into practice, it takes a lot of courage to live this way. But courage is what is called for in times such as these – the courage to speak out truth rather than to look away in silence.  No courage is necessary to tear things down; it is not an act of courage but of cowardice to burn a building, block a road or topple a statue.  But it takes immeasurable courage to create and to sustain a country where people with differences can live in peace and in safety with the freedom to live their lives as they see fit.

It is my fervent hope that, in Abraham Lincoln’s words,  “government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”  (Gettysburg Address,  Nov. 19th, 1863)   not on our watch  –

sincerely,         Grace Day












C.C. All Lives Matter #61

the protesters/rioters have been capturing our attention as well as our streets, our places of business and our public and private spaces and places.  But why?  What is their message?  Whatever it is, it has been hard to hear over all the noise, the disruption, the destruction, the defacing of public and private property, the chaos, the crime, the vandalism and the violence.

Spray painted amidst the graffiti are often the letters “BLM,” standing for black lives matter.  Is this the message?  It is an important one to be sure.  I think it is a message everyone can identify with at its core.  Don’t we all want to know, want to believe that we matter and to be treated as if we matter?  That desire is part of our human condition, it is built into us – we want to know that we have value – we want acknowledgement that we matter.

But turns out, we are not very good at treating each other as if we matter.  We don’t always treat others and others don’t always treat us in a way that shows respect, dignity and acknowledgement of the value that is inherit in each one of us.

Our country knows that each individual life matters.  It is written into our Declaration of Independence that each life matters.  “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights,  . . . ”   And there is the proof of the truth – the truth that we all matter – equally matter – to our Creator and to our country, according to the law.  That’s what sets our country apart, no other country operates on this premise of everyone mattering, everyone having equal value, everyone having equal voice.

The ballot box is where our voice can count, where it can be heard.  It is our great equalizer.  The vote of the poor person counts the same as the vote of the wealthy person.  The vote of the unknown counts the same as the vote of the well known. In the past, we have not lived out the law as it is written.  The law does not need changing – we do.  All men are created equal, all men must be treated equally, fairly, justly.  It is time we lived up to the law.  It is time we made “liberty and justice for all” a reality on our streets and in our courts.

“Black lives matter” won’t accomplish that, but “all lives matter” will.  I don’t understand why we prioritize one life over another.  But we seem to be doing just that very thing.  In this culture we value fame and fortune, position and power, assigning more value to people with these attributes than to those who lack them.

We seem to constantly be prioritizing one life over another.  The COVID-19 crisis has given us a new group of “lives that matter,” that being those who die from COVID-19.  Of course those lost lives matter, just as the lives lost to cancer and to gun violence and to heart disease and to hunger and to sex trafficking  . . . well the list is endless, but surely all these lives lost matter equally as well.

My grief isn’t less because my friend died of cancer rather than of COVID.  Every life lost is worthy of grieving – because every life matters.  Every life has value because we were created in God’s image.  We are His image bearers in this world.

“So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”  (Genesis 1:27)

So black lives matter, blue lives matter, unborn lives matter, handicapped lives matter, elderly lives matter, poor lives matter – all lives matter.  All lives matter to God, therefore all lives must matter to each one of us.

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?  Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart form the will of your Father.  And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”  (Matthew 10:29-30)

What a confirmation of the worth of each person to God!  I love the image of God as our shepherd, as the One who cares for us and protects us and lays down His life for us, His flock.

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters,  He restores my soul.”  (Psalm 23:1-3)

I like the story in Matthew 18 about the shepherd who owns one hundred sheep. When even one of them is missing, he leaves the ninety-nine on the hillside and he goes in search of his missing sheep.  When he finds his lost sheep, he rejoices greatly.

“In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.”  (Matthew 18:14)

The shepherd isn’t satisfied with ninety-nine percent.  Every life matters to him. In the same way, every life matters to our Heavenly Father, the Good Shepherd.  In fact, each life matters so much to Him that He gave His own life to ensure that we would have life.

“I am the Good Shepherd.  The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”  (John 10:11 & 10)

Every life matters to the Good Shepherd.  ” . . .   I lay down My life for the sheep.  I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen.  I must bring them also.  They too will listen to My voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.”  (John 10:15-16)

With my Heavenly Father, all lives matter.  Galatians 3:26-28 explains it this way, “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus,  . . .  There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

God sees us all the same and loves us all equally, unconditionally, even lavishly.

“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!  And that is what we are!”  (1 John 3:1)

“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.”   (Jeremiah 31:3)

if this life is a dress rehearsal for heaven, we need to learn the lesson that all lives matter, that each life matters – because we are all created in God’s image and are precious in His sight.

eternity will contain the diversity of earth but in heaven it will be cause for celebration not cause for division

“After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb.”  (Revelation 7:9)

every, all inclusive, each life mattering because all lives matter 

sincerely,       Grace Day







Corona Chronicles-True Confessions#60

I confess – I confess that sometimes confession is hard, it is hard because it is painful.  It is hard because it is revealing and leaves the confessor vulnerable, at the mercy of the one to whom he bears his soul.

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”   (1 John 1:9)

Lord, help me not to fear Your conviction which leads to life but please protect me from Satan’s condemnation, self-condemnation and the condemnation of the world which lead to death.

“Blessed is the man You discipline, O Lord, the man You teach from Your law;”  (Psalm 94:12)

” ‘My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when He rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those He loves, and He punishes everyone He accepts as a son.’  Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons.   . . .   Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in His holiness.  No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.  Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”   (Hebrews 12:5-11)

Lord, let Your conviction teach me and train me in Your ways which give life, but please protect me from condemnation which leads to death.

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.”   (Romans 8:1-2)

“Jesus said, ‘If you hold to My teaching, you are really My disciples.  Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’ ”   (John 8:31-320

truth, the difference between conviction and condemnation – the difference between life and death –

“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”   (John 10:10)

thank you Lord for being the Creator of life, the Giver of life, the Sustainer of life, the Redeemer of my life . . .

sincerely,       Grace Day



Corona Chronicles-True Confessions#59

I confess – though I don’t think of myself as a “cryer”, I find myself weeping at odd moments of my day, with no apparent trigger or reason, just silent tears or uncontrollable sobs – I cannot tell you why, dear readers.

It could be so many things.  Months of missing people that I used to see on a daily basis, perhaps.  Sadness over what is happening in our country.  Missing “the assembling of ourselves together.”  After all, we are a nation of assemblers.  It is who we are.  It is in our constitution and in our DNA.  That knowledge definitely helps us to understand why the past three months have been so hard for all of us.

Growing up in southern Indiana with the second largest high school gym in the state, (actually now the largest high school gym in the country) where basketball was king, Friday nights meant a packed house with standing room only, as we screamed our heads off rooting for our team.  We didn’t do it alone, we didn’t do it as a high school, we did it as a town, a whole town.

So football and basketball at a big ten college didn’t seem any different to me.  The stadium would be full of fans cheering on the team, watching the half time show, supporting each other in victory or in defeat, one collective celebration or wake depending on the outcome of the game.

yes, we are a nation of assemblers – but sports are not the only thing we turn out for in mass.  Anyone who has ever stood in line for concert tickets for hours on end can attest to that.  The Indy 500 draws a huge crowd every year.  It seems from auto racing to opera, venues are packed with people who want to witness their preferred passion first hand and do so in the presence of others who also share their passion.

This affinity for assembling starts at a young age.  I remember the excitement of an all school assembly and how special they were.  Probably the fact that they didn’t happen very often and that it meant we got out of class, contributed to my anticipation of said event.  Still they were fun, whether a pep rally, talent show, band or choir performance or a speaker, it was a shared experience for us to talk about and critique for days afterwards.

Have you ever been in a movie theater where everyone cheered at the end or collectively gasped or laughed at appropriate moments in the movie?  I have.  It’s that sharing of an experience collectively, that lends it meaning and memory.  We participate in this power of assembly in so many different ways – like when we fall silent while watching the extra point being kicked after the touch down, then we collectively moan or cheer depending on the outcome.

People find themselves holding their breath as the last notes of the opera hang in the air, then find themselves on their feet applauding in appreciation along with everyone else in a standing ovation.  Have you ever watched world cup soccer fans?  There’s power in that assembly.  Billy Graham used to pack stadiums and other large venues. People assembled in mass to hear his message in person along with thousands of other people also seeking after something, hoping to hear words that would answer questions they had long carried in their hearts.

We assemble to mourn as well as to celebrate.  Lines are long to pay respects and funeral processions full, as people come to share their collective grief.  Funerals such as John F. Kennedy’s and Princess Diana’s attracted extremely large crowds as people grieved collectively over the loss of these public figures.

The same goes for celebrations.  We have parades to celebrate so many occasions, such as the famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, New Year’s Day parades, St. Patrick’s Day parades, Mardi Gras and Fourth of July parades to name a few. These events become traditions for families over the years.  Nothing like the pageantry of a parade as a shared experience to make a lasting memory.

We are a nation of assemblers.  Have you seen Times Square on New Year’s Eve? Or a super bowl?  or been to South by South West in Austin, Texas or to Lollapalooza in Chicago?  These annual gatherings attract huge crowds of people who come together to share the experience.

We are a nation of assemblers.  From county fairs to country music, on summer nights, we assemble.  Every Sunday in the fall, fans flock to football stadiums all over America while simultaneously hundreds head to houses of worship in every city and town to assemble together for praise and prayer.

We are a nation of assemblers, guaranteed our right to peaceably assemble by the first Amendment of our Constitution.  We have exercised and enjoyed that right for many years, until the last three months.  Things have been shut down, closed and cancelled across the board, across our country during this time because of the COVID-19 threat.

And as law abiding citizens we have forsaken the assembling of ourselves together in both our public and our private lives.  No more public gatherings, no more private gatherings such as weddings, birthday parties, funerals etc., except for a few recent protests by citizens wanting to reopen their businesses and return to work.  But those protests didn’t even last one whole day.  The protesters were quickly publicly condemned as uncaring murderers prioritizing money over peoples’ lives and told they were in violation of the law.

And that was that until these past three weeks in which we have watched non-stop, day and night BLM protests and riots across our country.  I guess our first amendment right to peaceably assemble has been reinstated.  It must have been because these protests/riots have continued with huge numbers of people packing the streets in multiple cities for multiple days.

The media has not suggested that these protesters shouldn’t be out in mass numbers but restaurants here during the same time have been allowed only twenty-five percent capacity for their customers and churches, if open, could only admit a limited number of people so that social distancing could be practiced.  I guess only the protesters have the freedom to assemble without the rules and the restrictions that would limit their numbers (to under 50) and their actions.  (to require social distancing at all times, as well as temperatures taken and masks worn)

It doesn’t seem a very equitable situation at present, now does it?  Some citizens are allowed to assemble in large numbers while businesses and other citizens still face many restrictions if they want to open or get together at all.  If you don’t want to have to cut the guest list for your wedding, why not just call it a protest?  Then you can have as many people as you want present.

So what is it about this innate need of ours to experience life and to live life in the context of community?  Where did this come from?  In pioneer days they harvested crops together, had barn raisings and quilting bees.  Maybe that was more about survival than socializing but it fulfilled both needs simultaneously.

We have the same need today to share life and experience it within a larger context than just that of ourselves alone.  We are like marathon runners, who enter these large races.  They run alone and yet share that experience with thousands of others who are running the same marathon, running the same race. (53,000 plus runners in the last New York City marathon)

We are all running the same race of living life and many of our paths will intersect.  In fact we are a nation of assemblers precisely to ensure that that intersection, that shared experience will take place.  Deprived of it, we do not do well.  Deprived of our usual venues of assembly, we will create our own.  Is it any wonder the protests are continuing?  (they don’t have to be at work, there are no other events to attend)

We were created to be assemblers.  How do I know this?  Because it is our eternal destiny.

“After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb.  They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.  And they cried out in a loud voice: ‘Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.’ ”   (Revelation 7:9-10)

An eternal, peaceful assembly.  One of joy, not strife.  One of celebration, not mourning.  One of peace, not violence.  One of reconciliation, not revenge.  One of healing, not hurt.  An assembly of life, not death.  An assembly where every voice is known and every voice is heard.  An assembly where every voice matters.  An assembly where every life matters.

an assembly where every life was purchased with the blood of Jesus – (Revelation 5:9-10)

“because You (Jesus) were slain, and with Your blood You purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.  You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.”

an assembly where all lives matter,

sincerely,        Grace Day












Corona Chronicles-True Confessions#58

I’m glad our constitution guarantees to each of us our freedom of speech.  That guarantee is stated in the first amendment to our constitution.  It occurs to me however, that while we are guaranteed free speech, we are not guaranteed that anyone is listening.  We are not promised an audience.  We are not promised that our free speech will not fall on deaf ears.

Speaking is one thing.  Listening is quite another.  If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound?  If an orator delivers a speech that no one hears, did he really say anything?

Maybe speech can be legislated or even silenced.  But can you legislate listening? Well, we have all heard the term “captive audience” but I don’t think even the required presence of potential listeners guarantees actual listening, guarantees that the speaker is actually “heard.”  I know this for a fact as I experience this phenomenon on a daily basis in the high school classrooms where I work. (well did work back when schools were open)

Physical presence does not mean listening is taking place.  In the classroom there are many signs that the message is not being received.  The most obvious one is the headphones worn by students, less obvious are the earbuds but the result is the same – the teacher’s words have been tuned out.  Students looking at their phones or texting is another sign that listening is not happening.

Why is listening on my mind today?  Well, with so many people speaking, I am wondering who is left to do the listening?  It’s like everyone is on the podium and there is no one in the audience.  Speakers assume there are listeners.  But maybe rather than their speech falling on “deaf ears,”  it is falling on “no ears.”

Or maybe speakers realize there are just a few listeners to go around, so that’s why they attempt to shout down or silence as many other voices as they can, thereby increasing their chances to be heard.  We are told the protesters/rioters are doing what they are doing in order to be “heard.”  What are the burned out buildings, the broken glass and the profane graffiti saying to us?  It’s hard to listen when you’re busy cleaning up the messes left behind, trying to pick up the pieces, while worrying about what happens next.

There’s no time for listening when you’re busy just trying to survive the damage, the violence, the lack of peace and find a way forward each day.  And yet, in James 1:19-26 we are told something important about listening,

“My dear brothers, take note of this:  Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.  . . .  Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves.  Do what it says.  Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.  . . .  If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.”

I confess, I feel like I too often speak without having listened, truly listened.  I am quick to speak, slow to listen.  I want to reverse that – I want to be slow to speak but quick to listen.  I want to be quick to listen to my Heavenly Father and quick to listen to other people.

This is in line with God’s commands to love Him and then to love others as ourselves.  When we love someone we want to hear what they have to say.  We become good listeners in an effort to connect with them.  I can show my care and concern for others by listening to what they have to say.

That’s why I long to hear God’s voice everyday, I want to know what He’s thinking about so many things – about what’s going on in this world, what He wants me to be doing about it today, what words He would have me to speak (if any) – I want to listen to Him because I want to know Him better and understand Him more.

And that’s why I am called to listen to other people – in order to know them better and to understand them more.  Maybe that’s why things are so noisy, so chaotic, so painful and so purposeless right now, because everyone is shouting, making demands, making statements about where they stand and no one has heard a word, no one has truly heard a heart – because there is no one left to listen.

Today, with God’s help I will practice the words of Psalm 46:10,

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

“Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening.”  (1 Samuel 3:9)

sincerely,        Grace Day






Corona Chronicles-True Confessions#57

Alright, I confess, I don’t remember a lot of the history I was taught in high school. I could use the fact that high school for me was many years ago as an excuse for my lack of retention of the facts – but the fact would remain – I have forgotten many names, dates and important events which have brought us to where we stand today.

I’m thinking right about now, the protesters/rioters wish they had paid a little more attention in history class too, because it would serve them well now, in their present endeavor of statue toppling and desecration.  Why?  Because if you have a cause, you need to know which statues support your cause and which are against what you stand for before you demolish them.

After all, destroying statues that are on your side just makes you look foolish at best and totally stupid at worst.  And let’s be honest, no rioter/protester wants that kind of an image on social media.  It could actually do harm to your cause.  (you do know what your cause is?  right?)  Although, the media would probably cover for you and not let anyone know that such a blunder in vandalism and violence had occurred.  I think your secret is safe with them.  The media is as concerned about your image as you are.

But this lack of knowledge of American history did become apparent recently in Pennsylvania when rioters assaulted the statue of abolitionist Matthias Baldwin, dousing it with paint and spray painting the words “colonizer” and “murderer” on the statue.  The problem?  This particular guy, Matthias, did believe that black lives matter.  He fought against slavery, established a school for black children and paid the teachers’ salaries himself and lobbied for blacks to be able to vote.

Maybe the rioters don’t know what the term abolitionist means?  This must be the case because they also vandalized Philadelphia’s Civil War Soldiers and Sailors monument with the graffiti, “BLM”, even though this monument is in memory of those who fought for the Union, in memory of those who died fighting to end slavery.  Talk about looking foolish, do the protesters not know it was the Union that fought against slavery?

You really do have to know your history before you attempt to erase it from the face of the earth.  If you don’t, you may lose something very important in the process, something absolutely essential to your survival – your identity.  Progress can only be measured against the past.  If there is no past, the evidence of all our progress is erased from our collective memories.

Examples of the protesters ignorance abound, but one of the most glaring and the saddest of these is their vandalizing of the Robert Gould Shaw and the 54th Regiment Memorial in Boston.  Who does this memorial honor?  It honors the first African American volunteer infantry unit that fought in the Civil War.  Their colonel was Robert Gould Shaw.

This memorial took the artist, Saint-Gaudens, fourteen years to complete, finally debuting in 1897.  It is considered the greatest piece of public art to come out of the Civil War and it is one of our nation’s most prized pieces of public art as well. As in other places, the graffiti that defaced this monument included the words “black lives matter” among other four-letter words of profanity painted everywhere. (helpful hint to protesters – if you have a message that’s important to you, don’t bury it beneath profanity, let it stand alone and stand out)

Ironically, this memorial honors black lives.  These were black lives – giving their lives – giving their lives for a cause greater than themselves, freedom.  I think that mattered, I think they mattered.  I think it matters still.  I think they matter still.  Don’t you, protesters?  Obviously you don’t, or you wouldn’t have done what you did to their memorial.

By your actions, protesters, you say you disagree.  You say black lives matter and then you disgrace and dishonor their memory.  Do you want to erase it too?  There is nothing courageous about toppling and tearing down statues, nothing courageous in defacing and destroying memorials and monuments.  Nothing.  No courage is required to do these things.  Just ignorance and anger.  And sadly ignorance breeds anger.  Only truth opens our eyes and sets us free.

Sadly, protesters/rioters, you are not the only people to act wrongly because you do not know history.  The Israelites thought they knew their history, it was written in a book that contained a lot of prophesy about a coming King.  And they were looking forward to His coming – until He came.  When He came, most of them didn’t recognize Him as the One they had been waiting for all this time.  Did they not remember their history?  Or had they never learned their history to begin with?  So out of their ignorance of the truth, they killed Him.  Crucified Him, actually.

We really do need to know our history if we do not want to repeat our mistakes. Destroying the symbols of our past just gives us amnesia – not hope, not peace, not freedom, just empty space where once history mingled with memories too painful to repeat – too important to be forgotten.

That crucified King was Jesus.  He knows our past, our present and our future.  He has been present for all of it.  Revelation 1:8 confirms that,

” ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.’ ”

Not only is He present with us but the justice, the equality that we have been seeking are found in Him.

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”   (Galatians 3:28)

Racial division in Jesus’s time was between Jew and Gentile rather than between black and white.  It seems we always look for some way to separate ourselves from each other.  But in Christ we are all one and God sees us all the same.  He is no respecter of persons.

“Then Peter began to speak: ‘I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear Him and do what is right.'” (Acts 10:34)

“After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb.  They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.  And they cried out in a loud voice: ‘Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.’ ”   (Revelation 7:9-10)

Did you catch that?  every, no one excluded on the basis of nationality, or ethnic group or language spoken or any arbitrary, humanly devised division.  Why? Because God looks at us differently than we look at ourselves and look at each other.

“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him.  The Lord does not look at the things man looks at.  Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’ ”  (1 Samuel 16:7)

If only we could learn to do that with each other.  Martin Luther King Jr. said it when he said people should be judged “not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupery said it too, using these words,  “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

Lord, give my heart eyes to see that which is essential, that which is essentially, eternally valuable in each person as Your creation  . . .

sincerely,      Grace Day























C.C. America Burning #56

put on your oxygen mask – America is burning

memories of 1812 – a country under siege, lessons learning

my country is burning, burning right before my eyes – my tears cannot be counted, they are too many – too many to disguise – but they are not enough to put out the flames

and so I am forced to watch the destruction of cities, dreams demolished, dreams denied, lives lost without lament – none of them decried   . . .

the enemy?  not some foreign invader who cares little for us, who would take our freedoms and our lives with no thought of conscience to stop him from such evil ends  . . .

no, it is my own countrymen who do these deeds of devastation, defying something evil hiding in our midst, something lurking just out of sight, too ugly to be seen in the light,  buried beneath the banner of liberty and justice for all . . .

perhaps they thought when all was burned away, this evil would be exposed for all to see or would have gone up in smoke along with all the rest  . . .   certainly this evil enemy, this enemy of us all, cannot be fireproof?   can he?

Peace is shattered, Truth buried where we cannot find her anymore and Hope?Hope of finding Truth and resurrecting her before it is too late, seems to be hiding from us in these moments when we need her most –

we need Hope, Hope that Truth will be found and revived, that Freedom will find her voice again, that she will be allowed to speak, that she will be listened to . . .

maybe we don’t want to hear what Truth has to tell, a truth too terrible to be told, so we have closed our eyes, and turned our heads and refused to listen . . .

now America is burning, we are our own enemy – when we have done away with democracy and free speech, when our liberties and our freedoms are gone – when we no longer have the right to pursue our dreams in peace and safety – what will be left to us still standing after every statue is toppled and every God-given right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness has been trampled underfoot?

what will be left to us besides burned out buildings and empty spaces?  neither of these containing any memory of who we were, who we were hoping to become, where we have been, what we have overcome to get to where we are today, and what is the way forward?

our history shows us where we were wrong and it is our history that will show us the way forward out of those wrongs

the only ones who are doomed to repeat history are those who don’t know history

will it be the hatred, the anger, the violence, the intolerance and the silencing of any dissenting ideas or voices – is that what will survive the flames that light our cities by night?

is that what we will have to show for this time in history?  will this be the time when tyranny takes over, voices are silenced, the mob rules and fear silences the majority of Americans who just want the freedom to work, worship and live in peace?

books are banned in China – that doesn’t happen here

certainly someone will speak up?  is everyone filled with fear?

fire is refining, supposed to burn away the bad;  leaving behind what is better, better than what we had –

“These (trials) have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”  (1 Peter 1:7)

but it seems to me at present, hate, anger, lies, deception, manipulation, fear and violence are enjoying free reign while truth, freedom, justice, peace, and democracy are either being held hostage or they were burned beyond recognition in the fires set by the rioters across our country.

Either way, racial injustice, the evil that the protesters hope to eradicate by their actions, may survive the fires while everyone else gets badly burned and we all lose what was worth saving about this country that we all claim as our own.

Hong Kong is currently fighting to maintain its freedoms, even as China attempts to take control of Hong Kong.  Why would Hong Kong resist?  They know what life without personal freedom is like.  We don’t, but we may be about to find out.

In the last few days, people have been fired, silenced, shamed into submission or into issuing public apologies for any words they might have said which don’t appear to fall in line with prevailing acceptable public speech at the moment. Who decides what speech/thoughts are allowed to be shared and which are not?  I thought we still had free speech in this country?

Did I miss the repealing of the first amendment?

Ultimately, it is Truth that needs to be set free, because it is Truth that has the power to expose and to defeat injustice, racial injustice, all injustice.  Ironically, it is Truth that sets us all free.

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  (John 8:32)

No protest, no legislation, no slogans, no hashtags will bring about the changes that need to take place.  This is because a change of heart is necessary in order to abolish all injustice – to put an end to man’s inhumanity to man.

sadly, we are incapable of changing our own hearts – but the One who made us is able to change our hearts.  we need to humble ourselves and ask Him for what He wants to give us –

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”  (Psalm 51:10)

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.  And I will put My Spirit in you and move you to follow My decrees and be careful to keep My laws.”  (Ezekiel 36:26-27)

God’s laws are – love Him and love each other.  If we were truly loving each other, we would be treating each other justly.

“Love does no harm to its neighbor.  Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”  (Romans 12:10)

It is no coincidence that while corona caused the cancellation and the closing of all of our places of worship, other forces rushed in to fill the void left in each of our lives when we could no longer exercise our faith corporately in community with each other.  That is where America got her start, in houses of worship – that is where America gains her strength – in houses of prayer.  And that is where America will receive the heart transplant she so desperately needs in order to survive – in our places of worship and prayer all over this country.  Without it, she will surely die.

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,  . . .  He who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do.”   (Psalm 33:12 &15)

I pray that George Floyd and David Dorn did not die in vain.  I pray that “the nation, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”  (Gettysburg address)

I pray that we all drop to our knees and cry out to the God who created us in His image and bestowed upon us the “unalienable rights” that our Declaration of Independence acknowledges are from Him not from government.  When we do this, we have His assurance that He will hear us and in hearing us, He will answer us.

“If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.  Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.”    (2 Chronicles 7:14-15)

Lord, heal our broken hearts – heal our battered, burned and broken land

sincerely,     Grace Day