maybe all writers have this churning in them... some desire to express....some desire to be heard...some desire to be recognized..... some desire to be relevant
I tweeted something recently:
and when I wrote it... I was hurting.
I live in a world of teenagers. When I was at that stage 35 years ago- a pimple was a massive problem. I was sure everyone was staring at it. I'm old enough now to know that no one ever really noticed and if they did...well, teens have pimples.
Nowadays, I wish it were just pimples.
These last ten years.... I get to see how the sausage is made... and sadly, I see first hand how sinister the serpent is. And he loves to prey on the young and vulnerable.
Now, please don't misinterpret my message- there has never been a golden age where "Father Knows Best" and "Mayberry" came together in sweet harmony that every child was loved and every dog came home after giving a boy a little scare.
In 1938, Thornton Wilder stripped away that notion with a simple but haunting play called "Our Town"". Though he portrayed Grovers Corners as that all-american, apple pie existence...the raw nerves were exposed when Emily chooses to go back and see how her life really was- despite being warned not to by the omniscient stage manager.
She picks just an 'ordinary' day... her 14th birthday.
She sees a past image of her mom....
But as Emily watches it- her pain of regret and anguish builds... she is trying to get through...but no one notices because these are all unchanged events of the past.....
The first time I ever saw this play live...though I had been fighting back the tears... I couldn't contain it any longer.... this simple play about simple life lifted the veil on a tragic truth....
Emily sums it up as she has had enough.....
“Oh, earth, you're too wonderful for anybody to realize you.”
So as I write these things..I understand we live in a fallen world and we are fallen people... there was no such thing as 'the golden age'- in fact, read the Book of Revelation sometimes... the church was in a mess of persecution and internal problems.
But are we losing something even more in the process?
I worry that we are losing relationships... good, solid, quality... FRIENDSHIPS.
In a world of texts and tweets..... are our young people figuring out what it means to really be a friend? Do we know how to love?
And lately, that is what God has been trying to get through to me.
I know the problem... Jesus said it well in the Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24:
And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains. “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. (Matthew 24:4-12 ESV)
See the last line again....
"And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold."
Have you ever thought much about that statement? I have spent hours pondering it.
Lawlessness is ultimately 'selfishness'. I will do what I want to do. There is no moral law. I have no authority. I will not submit or humble myself.
Selfishness is self absorption...self love.
And if the entire effort of love is self love, there is no love for God and NO love for others.
True love is sacrificial...it is submissive..it is others.....
So what is God trying to tell me? .... "Don't let your love grow cold!"
So what is the solution?
It is found in this key verse...one we often overlook in the context of great gospel truth.
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:26-28 ESV)
In other words... I need ANOTHER SPIRIT to help me find ANOTHER love.
B.B. Warfield...writing to me over 100 years ago..confirmed this recently:
“Surely it must mean much to us that we live in the dispensation of the Spirit, a dispensation in which the Spirit of God is poured out upon all flesh with the end of extending the bounds of God's Kingdom until it covers the earth; and that He is poured out in the hearts of His people so that He reigns in their hearts and powerfully determines them to do holiness and righteousness all the days of their lives. Because we live under this dispensation, we are free from the outward pressure of law and have love shed abroad in our hearts, and, being led by the Spirit of God, are His Sons, yielding a willing obedience and by instinct doing what is conformable to His will.” Excerpt From: B. B. Warfield. “Faith and Life.”
Would you pray with me and for me? The enemy wants to divide us by rumor, gossip, and selfish hearts that are dark and cold.
God wants to pour out His Spirit. A Spirit of love.. proven.. demonstrated by Jesus in that while I was yet a sinner, He died for me!
I want my love to be so powerful that my daughters, and all of our young people are peeled away from screens and drawn to God's love.
Let's learn how to look at one another......
Let's learn how to love one another......
Let's learn how to be friends...... again.
We need one another in this dark and weary land.