Last week, a friend of mine who is a mother of 12 adopted children invited me to a church service to witness the dedication of her 6 youngest ones to God. The pastor spoke after the dedication service. His message to the congregation was what if every person in that church gathered together to pray for a benevolent purpose? He cited scriptural promises by God to answer.
It got me thinking about my childhood, when nearly every family attended a church of some kind. Prayer before meals and before going to bed were common, as was living by the Golden Rule. Parents in the neighborhood watched over all children, not just their own. Those same parents felt free to correct the children of a neighbor, and the actual parent of that child would stand behind the correction. In those days, folks lived their lives by a common set of rules; those rules sprang out of the Judeo-Christian ethic.
Life was simpler then. The sight of a full gun rack inside a pick-up truck was an every day event, and no one dreamed that anyone would shoot someone with one of those guns. There were bullies then as now, but the bullying usually involved dominating a table location at lunch, name calling or picking a bare-fisted fight in the school yard. A stern word from an authoritative adult broke up most childish skirmishes.
All the way home from the dedication service, I thought about the minister’s challenge, or call, to prayer. And then I found a YouTube video of a song I’ve never heard before, but that seemed to be asking the same question as the preacher.
So, I thought, what if? What if America got down on its collective knees and asked God to help us? To give us insight into what has gone wrong in our society? To give us wisdom to turn the problems around? What if?