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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Voice Behind

Today I received a letter from my son Alton.  As he often does, he began his letter with a referenced Bible verse for me to look up.  The verse was Isaiah 30:21.  It reads (NIV): Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”  And verse 22 follows: Then you will desecrate your idols overlaid with silver and your images covered with gold; you will throw them away like a menstrual cloth and say to them, “Away with you!”  As I (and many others) frequently do, I often look at Bible verses in the context of my life or of current affairs, not the Bible context.  While this may lead one astray, I think it is sometimes helpful and in any case inevitable.  For me this verse speaks to our current political climate.  The right and left have idols of ideology that have frozen us in stalemate.  It is time to end old matches and seek new perspectives.  It is time to turn whether to the right or the left, but above all to hear a voice behind saying “This is the way; walk in it.”  U.S. citizens have entitlements grounded in the Bill of Rights.  They have obligations grounded in a vision of “We the People” with individual responsibility and a shared destiny.  What we need now is divine grace to give us renewed vision and insight to penetrate the current darkness.  But we must stop evil-eyeing each other and rather lift our eyes to the heavens from which inspiration will by faith surely come.  With a generous spirit prevalent, a generous heavenly father will without question assist in developing practical solutions.  With a mean spirit's poison soaking public life we will miserably damn ourselves.  Let each man attend to destroying his own idols and be less concerned with those of his neighbor.

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