"Achievement of the Grail" tapestry by Edward Burne-Jones, 1891-4

"Achievement of the Grail" tapestry by Edward Burne-Jones, 1891-4

“America as I knew it growing up is gone, and I don’t think it’s coming back.” I wrote that back on May 22nd. It bears repeating.

Some people I know resemble a frog being boiled. You put a frog in a pot of cold water, gradually turn up the heat, and he’s cooked before he notices anything amiss. Some folks  gripe about things changing for the worse, but other than complaining they take no action about it. They certainly don’t seem to be praying about it.

A couple of months ago I stopped watching Good Morning America and began watching old television re-runs instead. For many years I had read my morning newspapers and eaten my breakfast to a backdrop of ABC’s morning news, but finally I just couldn’t take the drivel any more.

To be honest, I couldn’t take the Fox morning shows either – all that saccharine and sanctimony was nauseating. Even to me, a radical, right-wing, conservative Christian activist it was too hard to digest with my morning toast and coffee.

I also stopped watching the evening news shows on any channel. Too much slant, too little hard news.

Now, for many years I have used news programs as prayer guides and encouraged others to do the same. It’s still an excellent idea. Prayer is still needed, but now I read far more news from many sources online without having to listen to it.

And the news I seek these days isn’t usually included in the morning shows or evening shows. Earthquakes, floods, meteor strikes, famine, fires, oddities in the natural disaster realm. Political, military, socioeconomic and religious items from other nations, some of whom are certainly not our friends.

I see an interesting developing pattern, threads of many colors and dimensions running through news articles and opinion pieces.

Some years ago I worked in the Admissions office at Francis Marion University. Lunch hours were spent on a bench under a tree, reading a book or magazine while I ate a sandwich. Sometimes I used my spare time to pray for people and situations.

One such day I was praying when I suddenly saw in my mind’s eye a large tapestry being woven. Brilliant and muted colors of threads, some thick, some thin were being fitted together from every direction, gradually creating an image – Landscape? Cityscape? I don’t remember.

Because then the tapestry was turned so that I could see the back. Here there was no discernible design, just tangled threads of blues and greens, gold and silver – every color and every shade of color, but no pattern.

And I knew without a doubt that this tapestry represented the world and its relationships, people, places, times and events. The earth and the world, natural and supernatural. The vision faded after a while, but the memory of it has never faded; all these years later I can still see it clearly.

As I read reports from the four corners of the natural earth and reports from the pages of the scriptures, again I see that tapestry being woven.

What most of us see in current events is the snarled mass of threads, the back of the tapestry. We don’t see the final image, the intricate design being worked. But an intricate design is being worked.

America has been part of that design for well over 200 years, longer than most forms of government historically last. I suspect that God’s purpose for America’s creation wasn’t altogether what we’ve thought it was, and the next stage in its life-span may not be what we’d want it to be.

Whatever it has been and whatever it will be, praying over the news is still a very good idea.