When did we get so divided? Was it always like this and I never noticed? I remember winning an essay contest in junior high where I wrote about what America means to me. I made the local paper. They took my picture. I got a $100 check. I had arrived…until someone wrote a letter to the editor criticizing my 12 year old self and my “white roses and pink elephant” version of America. So I prepared my rebuttal complete with a request to meet and debate this person, no doubt decades older than me. And my parents said “Yeahhhh we’re not gonna do that.” Were we this divided even back then?
White, black. Democrat, Republican. Vaccinated, Unvaccinated. Trump really won, Biden is really president. Mask, unmask. Spend, save. Stand, kneel. Prayer, moment of silence. Mandate, choice. Speak up, stand down. The Great Awakening, the Great Reset. The cross, the empty tomb.
John 10 tells us that the enemy comes only to steal, kill and destroy. Only. Not one of his tasks to check off of his to do list. His only task, his only purpose. He only comes to steal our joy, only to kill our peace and only to destroy our worth. He walks into every room with nothing but a post-it note: steal, kill, destroy. Then he walks into the next room. Same post-it note.
Only…he doesn’t waltz in wearing horns and breathing fire. If that dude walked in my house, I would be the mightiest halo-wearing, psalm-reciting, holy water-throwing, tambourine-shaking Jesus loving girl that the world ever did see. I don’t know how to speak in tongues, never met anyone who could speak in tongues but I’m pretty sure I could figure it out that day. Get behind me Satan. Not today Satan. Begone Satan…all in tongues.
But that’s not who shows up.
Instead, he comes into our schools and tells us to separate the Word from everything else. And we let him. We believe him that removing Bibles, crosses, statues, commandments and folded hands from our schools won’t steal generations of innocence, it won’t kill the forming faith of most and it won’t destroy the future. Only he didn’t come in dressed in red… he came in over the course of years and decades, many times dressed as a she, using words like inclusive, don’t offend, equality. We can’t upset one who might not know Jesus (yet), so we condemn those that do. So we took our bibles, crosses, statues, commandments and our folded hands and we hid them in our houses, behind our church walls and in our private schools. And we thought he’d never come for them there.
Only he did.
He made us question sound doctrine and long proven prophecy. He tempted men with unnatural desires and lusts for power then helped them become leaders of our churches for decades upon decades. A young generation who was hurt by them went on to hurt the ones who came next. And it left us with a society who doesn’t trust Church, capital C. He helped us water down teachings until those teachings taught a set of values with no value. Only he didn’t come into our churches, lowercase c, carrying a pitchfork. He came in dressed in pretty robes and wearing fancy hats and shiny rings.
He taught our men to chase a dollar, a ball, a skirt or the bottle…. anything but Jesus. He convinced them that the desires of their flesh came first. The desires of their heart last. Until he convinced them that the desires of their flesh were the desires of their heart. And it left us with a generation of broken homes, fatherless boys and confused girls. Only he didn’t teach them at his Sin Seminar for Men. He came through the TVs, radios and computer screens. He snuck into the bars, locker rooms and break rooms. Then he convinced us women that we don’t need a man. Anything a man can do, we can do better. We’re no different than men. Only he didn’t sell it to us through a 2am loud and obnoxious infomercial while we were rocking and feeding babies all night. He embedded himself into movements, marches and fashion designers. The necklines got lower and the hems shorter and he told us that feeding and rocking babies wasn’t enough. We weren’t enough. He convinced us to enhance, enlarge and endure. Don’t cry and work twice as hard. Pah!! Show me a mom dealing with two infections on the same kid, middle school social studies, sports and dancing schedules, school and church meetings, a bleeding checkbook, a waning prayer life, early hot flashes, too much laundry and supper she forgot to cook and you think she only works twice as hard? And don’t tell us not to cry. We’ll cry if we damn well want to. Every day if we want to. But still, he said it wasn’t enough. And so here we are with 62.5 million aborted babies and almost as many traumatized mothers. Girls sports that no longer belong to girls because we’re all “equal”? Our daughters are one Senate vote away from being eligible for the draft (not a fantasy football draft…The Draft…the one that sent 2.2 million boys to Vietnam. The same draft that sent my own dad to Vietnam, long before he was a man and now long after he still doesn’t talk about it). And so now we have a generation who think there are 63 genders available to them. Today’s kids think they have a choice in their gender. When God decided to reach down and save humanity, He used the family. Are we surprised the enemy has now come for the family?
He didn’t come down (or come up?) with his fire, brimstone and gnashing teeth to fulfill his purpose. The world would have sent him back with his pointed tail between his legs. Instead he came for the schools, churches and homes. And we let him. So here he is, post-it note in hand. Except he isn’t so hidden anymore. He’s on full display.
We’re at a precipice, people. Precipice: NOUN, a very steep rock face or cliff, especially a tall one. How many precipices does God have ordained for humanity? Since I just finished a super informative bible study on just such a topic, let me tell you. There was the flood. The tower of Babel. Abraham, Isaac and the mountain. Joseph and the famine. Moses and the plagues, then the whole wandering of the desert. Joshua and Jericho. Then Jesus came. (Disclaimer: there is a sequel to this study where we learn all about the kings and so I would assume there’s some precipices in there too, but, I mean, I didn’t do that study yet so….we’ll go with these).
Throughout the Old Testament, God has time and time again saved creation from itself. Then He sent Jesus. And gave us the choice. We can choose Jesus, or we can choose not Jesus. We’re living in the New Testament. We are at this precipice because of the choices we have made. With our votes, with our time, with our child rearing, with our spending, with our prayers or lack thereof.
Why aren’t we telling our men to be men? Why aren’t we teaching our boys that your job as men is to hunt, gather, and protect? Protect your families. STAY with your families. Stand up for your families. Lead your families. And then why don’t we let them hunt, gather, protect, stay and lead?
Why are we teaching our girls that they can have it all? Why aren’t we painfully honest with them that you cannot, you will not have it all…at least not the “all” that the world is selling. If you choose to raise your babies you will miss your rung on the ladder, you will miss the business class trip and there is no money in the raising. If you choose to chase the dream, you might miss your motherhood window, you will miss a first, and you will miss the field trip. We don’t teach them this so now we have generations of women and girls who are exhausted, angry and confused after decades of life on the hamster wheel. And we shame those who have made a choice to accept it’s either or. Neither role gets praise from the world. Only the wheel. We’ve glorified the wheel instead of doing everything for the glory of God. Why don’t we teach our girls that whatever you choose to do, do it for the glory of God. Every nose, bottom or counter that you wipe, every drape you make, asthma drug you sell, child you teach, deal you close, IV you start, or story you read, do it for the glory of God, not for glory from the world. When we teach our girls this, then they will have it all.
I am in a season where God has called me to leadership on many levels and has given me task after task to just get this thing and then that thing over the finish line. I call it my Esther season. Not to be confused with my Ruth season, my Hannah season, and my ongoing Martha season. The dream is to reach the Mary season….but I digress. For a middle aged mom who works in her pajamas everyday until 2:10…I have more meetings than my corporate bigwig mom friends. And many a night I have sat in the tub, with a glass of bourbon, wishing this cup to pass. (Not the cup of bourbon but the proverbial task at hand cup– just so we’re clear). I’ve had to make choices with my time and know that I can’t do it all today. Or this week. Or this month. And some days my kids have gotten the worst version of me. And those are the days you will never forget. But you sure hope they do. And then in one week, one is on the struggle bus trying to understand a social issue that I don’t even understand, and she’s being faced with it on the playground, on spotify, on her very age appropriate shows and she is asking questions that you don’t know how to answer. And then you have one trying to survive five college courses that you don’t even know how to spell all while she’s six hours away and she’s surviving on loaded tea, coffee and ramen and you are googling tutors and calculating “if I leave now I can be there by 2:00, oh wait we have dancing….and I have a meeting.” And then. Then one has an asthma attack–the second one in three years which three years ago landed her in the hospital. And you find yourself back in that bathroom, this time literally on your knees on the floor praying that this passes. And you put that child in your bed, on your pillow to make sure you hear every breath in and out. Then the next day when the reliably smart one texts that she doesn’t feel so smart walking into this exam, you text 16 people to pray at said test time, you say two rosaries and a Divine Mercy Chaplet waiting for the text to tell you she made a B. The same afternoon the asthmatic one is back to normal (whatever that is). And you realize that on this day, your kids got the best version of you…the praying version. But as for that social issue situation, we’re punting that one to the priest.
The enemy is patient. He knows that his opportunity comes when we are worn, tired and hopeless. And now he’s got us where he wants us. We’re too busy, overworked and stressed to pray so we keep lowering our standards and moving the goalposts on what winning is. But if we can put out an all-call for one calculus test, why aren’t we sounding every alarm for our country and our world. As Catholics, yesterday we consecrated Russia and Ukraine to the heart of Mary. The whole Catholic world prayed a collective “Mary Mother of Jesus, be a mother to these countries now.” In June we will hear a Supreme Court ruling that may overturn Roe vs. Wade. For the first time in our lifetime, we have a fighting, highly likely chance of overturning Roe vs. Wade. Where is the all-call? Votes can be changed until the decision is read. Why aren’t we collectively praying for the hearts and minds of two or more justices to vote their heart and mind? What favor might God show upon our land if we stop killing His holy innocents?
The New Testament is still being written. These days that we are in were ordained long before Moses put quill to scroll to write Genesis. The enemy is alive and well. He walks among us. But he is cast out by one mention of the name of Jesus and his head is crushed by one Hail Mary. How quickly can we cast him and crush him from our schools, homes and families? The only thing we have to do is pray.