I can’t decide if it is a dream or a longing. Maybe it began as the first and morphed into the second. Yesterday I told my wife, Denalyn, “Last night I had the strangest dream.” We’d fallen asleep watching the Republican National Convention. Not the most relaxing way to drift off, right? Politicians, pundits, pollsters and picketers. Tongues wagging. Finger-pointing. Accusations. Declarations. Blah-blah-blah.
The convention is warp and woof of our system; I get that. But does it have to be so…hostile, volatile? The country seems on edge. Every headline a heartache. Officers shot. Motorists shot. Flags at half staff for how long?
I fell asleep with the images of the convention and the crisis in my head. When I awoke I had an image of a different convention. I mulled it over as I lay in bed. I gave it more thought as I sipped my coffee. By mid-afternoon, I was smiling at the very idea of it all.
It helps that I’m on the road with the “Worship Night in America” events. Like the politicians, we are making noise in arenas. Unlike the politicians, our noise is about Jesus. We sing, applaud, ponder scripture, and, at the end of the evening, get down on our knees and pray. By that point my friend Louie Giglio is speaking. He reminds us of the promise of God, “If my people, who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and I will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).
That passage has more hope than Tiffany’s has diamonds. God will hear his people. God will heal broken hearts. It simply falls to His followers to repent, humble ourselves, and pray. So we do. In LA, Denver, Chicago, Miami, NYC…the people kneel and pray. The participants don’t need to be urged. They know the truth: we need help from above. The Republicans are just as befuddled as the Democrats. The Libertarians are as confused as the Independents. Politicians claim to have solutions. But the housewife in Miami isn’t fooled. Neither is the truck driver in Chicago. They know the truth. Our hope isn’t in politicians. It is in Jesus.
I guess that is how the dream became a longing.
In my dream a change settles over the Convention. People are quiet, reverent. Crowds gather outside, not to protest, but to witness something extraordinary. Word is out that a meeting has occurred. Trump and Hillary talked long into the night. Who suggested the meeting? What was the agenda? Did their teams huddle in corners? My dream gives no details.
But according the news report, the two candidates are going to step out at any moment and jointly address the nation. (I know what you are thinking. “In your dreams.”) True. But they do. When they do, a fresh wind blows across the country. They’ve come to a conclusion; they’ve reached a truce. No more tackiness. No more below-the-belt stuff. Too much is at risk. People are dying, for crying out loud. The nation needs to calm down. Take a breath. Come together. And, what better place to begin than with Trump and Hillary. The election will go on, but the rancor, the arrogance, and bitterness will stop.
The dream stops here. But the longing? It goes another step. Wouldn’t it be something, I mean, really something, if one or both of them said: “Here is the truth. We don’t know how to heal this country. But God does.” And right there, on national tv, to the shock of viewers worldwide, to the utter chagrin of the Devil and the joy of All Mighty God, they get down on their knees and ask heaven to send mercy to our land.
Wouldn’t that be something?
I know. You don’t have to tell me. “Don’t hold your breath, Lucado. It ain’t gonna happen.”
Not in the conventions, perhaps. But it can happen in your living room. In your bedroom. In your church. It can happen with you and me and a host of others like us. We can repent, humble ourselves, and pray. And when we do, who knows, our fondest dreams might come true.
©Max Lucado, July 2016