Maybe it was all just hormones but I found myself weeping over the news of the death of Bretagne, the last remaining canine who was used to search the 9/11 site for survivors. Maybe it just touched me how loyal and faithful a dog can be. Perhaps it was the picture of those firefighters in uniform saluting her as she made her last walk before she was euthanized or that following her death her body was draped in an American flag. Perhaps it was the touching account of how she wanted her owner to sleep with her before her death. Perhaps it was seeing her gorgeous gray face and comparing her to my own two dogs, both now 10 and growing grayer and more sedate with the passing of each day.
It was for all of these reasons that the tears just started flowing, but I came to the conclusion that the core of my surprise reaction was the suppressed feeling I have been carrying around about the state of my nation. I have wanted to cry out, pray, even scream, over this country for a long time, but every time I am almost there, a feeling of absolute hopelessness washes over me and the words do not come. Silence. I feel there is nothing that will get us back on track. Nothing that can unite us. In all of my lifetime, I have never seen us more divided, and I really do not recognize the country I was born and raised in. We have no common denominator as a people. No core values. No core morality. No civility. Maybe saying good-bye to Bretagne is really saying farewell to the nation I once loved and remembered so long ago.
I can’t help but think of Nineveh, the capital of the ancient world. God sent Jonah to tell them to repent. The nation was so evil that Jonah rebelled. He didn’t want God to spare them. Ultimately, Jonah did go to Nineveh and told them that God was going to destroy the nation and they repented. God relented and Nineveh was not destroyed until many years later.
There are so many Americans crying out over the sins of this nation, yet our leaders refuse to repent. The corruption is so rampant, so pervasive, and so insistent, I know this is why I can’t seem to find the words. The schism is real. “Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is there no healing for the wound of my people?” (Jerimiah 8:22) The old order of things is passing away. If I had a map, and I do, 2 Timothy 3:2-3, you are here: “But understand this: In the last days terrible times will come. For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, without love of good,…” God bless America.