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Suns & Shields

By Rachelle Hamlin

Read more of Rachelle's editorials:  Suns & Shields Index page

National Day of Prayer

By: Rachelle Hamlin

Fort Fairfield Journal, May 14, 2014

At 6:20 p.m. on Thursday, May 1st, we parked and waited to see cars drive up to our Town Hall parking lot. It was already full of cars belonging to the people attending a Fireman’s School going on inside the building. Two new cars arrived and were parked. A tall man in his 40’s wearing a grey all-weather coat strode over to the knoll where a huge American Flag hung limp and wet against brightly lighted clouds in shades of dark grey. This was our designated meeting place.

It was time to get out despite the chilly air and George’s meager (but new) wool shirt he wore. A friend named Mike, an elder in a local church, shuffled over to our host and they shook hands. As we arrived Mike’s wife joined us. Her cheerful face and sweet aroma added brightness to the group. We chatted while waiting for the rest of our town folk to show but we were all. Even Pastor Booker of the Congregational Church who had sent the flyer out inviting everyone in town to meet at the flag to pray was absent. Slightly disappointed, his representative decided to begin.

I reminded us that when David went up against Goliath all he needed were five smooth stones. That brought a laugh and Mike echoed that we were all indeed worn and formed stones ready for use. With that, our prayer campaign was launched. As we began to pray we started with small local concerns: a ninety-eight year old woman needed a hip replaced, a premature infant struggling for life because of breathing problems was in surgery. I looked down at the muddy grass praying while focused on ten legs and five pairs of sturdy shoes arrayed in a symmetrical circle. People began to open their hearts.

Consciousness of where we were standing began to morph into consciousness of The One to whom we were speaking. I closed my eyes and entered into that space. We prayed about the issues that bothered each one of us, unburdening our hearts. We considered the nation and felt that America was every bit as sick and needy as that old woman who can’t walk and that baby who can’t breathe. These are feelings that lovers of our Constitution and of the great dreams of our Founding Fathers carry about with them these days. We choked up as we sensed that we cannot walk the way we want to walk. We can’t develop an atmosphere in which our minds are not tainted or rendered inadequate to sustain our true wishes and aspirations in life. We prayed reaching, visionary prayers.

Opening my eyes I listened to the voices in prayer. In the center of our circle there was some trampled young grass bent over in the mud. I became hyperaware of the dirt, the earth that we were standing on. This was what we really were praying for! This was the actual substance of what made our nation a nation. The ground under our feet existed before we did and would be here long after it welcomed our dead bodies. Its measure went deeper than I could imagine until it grew into a beautiful, blue and white marble that rolled across the table of G-d’s will for Earth on its path in the heavens. Its surface spread out to support all ten of our feet, spreading to support the buildings, parking lots, lakes, streams, highways, villages, cities, geographical states, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from Canada to Mexico, even into the oceans. Land mass formed this permanent thing which we conceived and called the United States of America. This is what we came to petition for.

I closed my eyes again and the prayer moved in another direction. We began to repent for what we have allowed to happen here. We begged for protection from our enemies and for our soldiers sent elsewhere to fight for us. We saw the specter of Islam’s contentious aggression looming over us like a black, icy cloud. We told Our Father that we do not choose Sharia Law… that we reject all laws except laws that hold His promises. We cited His promise to write His laws on the hearts of every man, woman and child in Earth. We asked Him to do that NOW and to leave no one out. “Surprise us,” we said. “Let everyone begin to speak the truth from their hearts where your laws are written. Even when someone doesn’t even know where their idea came from, or why they said what they said when they said it. Let your laws be written in hearts that speak words of life, everywhere and from everyone, until they flow like mighty rivers all over the Earth.”

This is how our prayers went near the end. Time came when we had to stop and say goodbye. We were only five here in our town but five stones are enough in the hand of Our Lord Jesus. As we parted our host remarked that someday in heaven we would stand together and look back in time and G-d would let us see exactly what it was that our prayers accomplished.

“I will be looking for those evidences during the next months and all this year,” I said.

“I get that!” he said. It was our last agreement as we parted.



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