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June 25, 2001--

MARANATHA!    This is a word found in the New Testament referring to the return of Jesus Christ in glory to reclaim his kingdom. It is a shout, an exclamation. After reading about the woman in Houston who systematically drowned her 5 children in their own bathtub, who had to chase the oldest through the house and drag him forcibly to the tub and drown him, I am anxious for His return more than ever. The word is translated, Lord Jesus come quickly!

It might be said I read too much of the news of the day. I stay too current on the world situation. Truth is I do listen to National Public Radio news on the way to work each morning, and when not listening to a recording I make of Car Talk, broadcast Saturday mornings, I listen to NPR on the way home each evening, and also the TV evening news. I forget much of the details; that's just my age showing. However, I do notice a lot of the stories are about really bad things that happen. The History channel is now running a six part series on the Holacost. I watched the first 2 hours but can't watch the rest, the footage is too graphic and appaling. And I've read a lot already and saw enough films to know in detail how it happened. These things and more continue unabated it seems today. Genocide in many countries, especially the Balkans, the Aids epidemic all over the globe but especially Africa. What on earth is there that can abate the horrors, this so ready evil? The problem may be there is nothing on earth that can. That is the function of the Holy Spirit.

That Holy Spirit is what is supposed to be God's immediate presence on earth. Some say mainly In His church. The fight is ours most especially, because it is the church that knows the score, that has the perspective of The Reality. Those outside the church don't glimpse this Reality. They don't know about the very real war the evil one is waging on this planet. Do I sound a little Doomsday-like? I don't mean to; that is regarded as fringe-element talk, the kooks, the wackos, the spectre-like. You know, "one of those." And as such they have no credence. And while I won't enter the discussion about the Houston woman, whether she was possessed, merely not in her right mind, just depressed, I do know is that it was an unspeakably evil act, committed in the Safe Zone.

The home is where one should feel most secure. I watch our two kittens sleep, on their backs, exposing their tummies in the sensation of peace and tranquility. Looking at them my soul is touched, how could I let harm come to them. Our children should feel this degree of safety, more even. There should be no fear of what their parent will do to them. They should not have to look over their shoulder, inside their own house, inside their own room, to thwart a surprise attack. But many do dwell in such fear.

But surely not like the children in Houston. How many fear this kind of evil, a mother that systematically drowns her own? Watch the video camera in your brain as you observe her start with the youngest, snatch them up, drag them to the bathroom, pull them into the bathtub filled with water and hold their struggling head under the surface, water splashing everywhere, filling their lungs until the thrashing subsides. See her take the child out of the tub, wrap it in a sheet and place it in another room on a bed. Look on as she then goes to the next oldest and repeat the process. Again and again. Could you fix your gaze on this scene? Such a broadcast would never bare public scrutiny. Not this year anyway. Maybe a few years down the road when our sensibilities are so corroded with the increasing muck of today's society, every year growing more murky. Could you watch the video without getting pale and lightheaded, without your stomach getting sick, without you recoiling in terror? Would you lose your mind?

This story bothers me more than any other in the news that I can ever remember. Melissa caught a tear out of the corner of my eye a few days after the details of this story were made known. She asked if I was having a bad allergy day. I wasn't able to get the words out without fear of choking, of breaking down, that it was seeing these children run through their home from a parent that was the cause.

How can we not go mad with such rampant evil plaguing the world, confronting us on the news and radio every day? Well, probably self-preservation forces us to minimize these horrors, plus there are some wonderful things abundant in the world. It's not all evil. But still the wickedness continues, seemingly grows, without abatement. And when I walk outside under a glorious sky with its massive clouds billowing white and every shade of gray, playing hide and seek with the brilliance of crystal blue that paints the sky's ceiling, I look expectantly between the clouds and think, "Maranatha!" Please come quickly! And in the meantime I'm going to try to live a little more like I can make some kind of difference. Try.

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