The news lately is full of reports of racial violence, terrorist attacks and political turmoil all over the world. As footage of snipers shooting police officers played, with furrowed brow, our granddaughter Tippy asked us, "Do you think that now they'll look at changing the gun laws?" A rhetorical question.
I explained what I believe--that there is more going on than laws that need to be changed. Something is seriously broken in humanity, and there are spiritual forces at work all over our world. An apostle named Paul wrote about it in a letter to the people in a church in Ephesus, 2000 years ago (Ephesians 6:12.) These forces can't be battled with guns or argument, but with prayers behind which is God's power to demolish strongholds. (2 Corinthians 10.4)
Coincidentally, yesterday, Tippy, another young friend, and I, watched, The Twin Towers--the second in a movie series based on the trilogy, Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien. When the wise wizard Gandalph frees Theoden from spiritual captivity by the evil Saruman,the portrayal of the actual physical transformation he undergoes as he is released is brilliant cinematography. When the spiritual battle has been won, Gandalph exhorts Theoden to, "Breath the free air!
Another spiritual breakthrough is depicted in one of my all time favourite movies, based on the Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Alice Walker, The Color Purple.
In a scene that always moves me deeply, Shugg, a who is estranged from her preacher father, is drawn irresistably by a song in the air, coming from the nearby church. Not only she, but others, including her friend Celie's cruel husband "Mister," and Shugg's father, respond to a force that moves them all to acts of grace--undoing in an instant all the cruelty and sin that the human heart is prone to.
The scene reminds me of a story told to me by a dear old friend who was in Newfoundland during the early part of the 20th century. She described people being so anxious to get to the altar that they climbed over the pews. Someone must have been praying...
...As Gandalph says, all he has is "a fool's hope," but when he sees the beacons on the mountains set ablaze to call for help, he adds, "Hope is kindled."
There is hope, because our God is The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Yes, I am so grateful, hope is kindled.