There is a very interesting little story tucked away in the book of II Kings, chapter 6, in the Old Testament. When the army of the king of Aram, with all its horses and chariots, surrounded the prophet Elisha on the hills of Dothan, Elisha’s aide thought they didn’t have a chance of survival. “Look at all of them out there,” the aide complained, “we can’t possibly challenge them and we certainly can’t prevail.”
Sometimes, and quite often these days, I get the same feeling. What chance do we have against the present powers and principalities? How can we possibly confront and combat, what seems to me, to be an assault upon the American dream? So many are aligned with the forces that seek to build dividing walls, who support strong-arm tactics against our neighbors (foreign and domestic) and who join in the malicious rhetoric that promotes fear and apprehension both here and abroad? Who can stand against this dangerous and insidious insanity (as I see it) when so many seem to agree with it and support it? Sometimes I feel surrounded by Aram’s army—there are a lot of horses and chariots out there!
The prophet Elisha prayed for his companion in the midst of his frustration and fear in the face of Aram’s massive forces. “O Lord,” Elisha prayed, “help him see what I see. Help him get a handle on what it means to be in your care. Help him know that there are more who are for us than those who are against us! Give him eyes to see.” Elisha’s aide looked up again at all of Aram’s horses and chariots, but this time he saw with new eyes of faith what is really real—he saw the army of God—thousands upon thousands of horses and chariots of fire on every hillside arrayed against the forces of Aram!
“Faith gives substance to our hopes, and makes us certain of realities we do not see,” according to the writer of the letter to the Hebrews in the New Testament. Where is my faith in our present predicament? What do I see? What do you see? The “belief that God is on the side of truth and justice comes down to us from the long tradition of our Christian faith,’ wrote Martin Luther King, Jr. “There is something at the very center of our faith which reminds us that Good Friday may occupy the throne for a day, but ultimately it must give way to the triumphant beat of the drums of Easter.”
|Truth crushed to earth will rise again." |
William Cullen Bryant