July, 2016 – God Bless America – (please!)

July, 2016 – God Bless America – (please!)

As I write this post from Romania, I have to tell you that there is something a little strange about not being in my own country on the Fourth of July.  I experienced this back in 2000 when I worked with Gujarati Indians in Loughborough, England.  It just felt odd.  And it does this time around, too.   I am so glad to be an American.  I know that America is an infinitely less than perfect country – I know that! – but, as I have traveled and dealt with other countries and cultures, in this life I am very glad to have grown up in Maine and then onto RI, and MA as an American citizen.  Because I have always had more of everything than people in most other countries of the world, I feel blessed and honored to be able to help others in more need than anyone I have ever met in the States.  As a follower of Christ, it’s also my obligation to do so.

For some who seem to constantly barrage America, I could say, “Come to Romania with me for a month” – or, I could tell you a story of a wonderful gentleman I met here in Romania.

He was old – really old!  Or at least he looked terribly old – but perhaps wasn’t as far along in age as I had presumed him to be.  Life is hard here!  Ion was shorter than I, had a shock of white hair, blue eyes that seemed to ‘burn’ right into you – and he wore an old brown, rumpled suit with utter dignity.  I had never quite seen anyone like him.   He took my hand in his and kissed it (as is the custom of an older man with a younger woman).  He held onto my hand, looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Every day, I pray for America!”

My immediate thoughts were, “THANK you.  We need it!”  But, when I asked him why he prayed for my country every day, he said, “Because in THE WAR (that’s what they call WWII to this day here in E. Europe), I had been taken prisoner and every day I was beaten.  And then! – the Americans came and rescued me.”  I had no words to say.  My returned gaze into his eyes said all that needed to be said to him.  I loved him – this godly brother in Christ  . . .

So there are those who still love America and are not even from the USA.   God says in Proverbs 14.34 that ‘Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.”   As the Fall elections bear down upon us, America is in trouble.  But as a nation we have not only neglected God or have forgotten about Him, we have purposefully invited Him to leave.  The Scripture recounts over and over the nations who embraced God and His ways, and those who thought they could do it better without Him.

We are of the latter mentality.  In my opinion at the time of this writing, which ever candidate wins the November, 2016 election will have a grievous and detrimental effect on America.  As Christians, we need to ‘humble ourselves before God, pray and seek His face and turn from our wicked ways’.  It is then that ‘God will hear from heaven, forgive us our sins and heal our land’.  (from II Chronicles 7.14)

Please, God, is it possible that You could once again ‘Bless America’?