I noticed many changes in our Nation’s Capital this year that Americans might want to think about. I also have many dear followers who are in other countries, and these things may apply where you are, too; I don’t know for sure but I hope you’ll hang in with me for a bit.
The first time I came to Washington, DC a tourist could walk almost anywhere. Pennsylvania Avenue was open to traffic between E Street and Connecticut Avenue in front of the White House, and although you couldn’t walk around on the White House grounds then either, the areas surrounding them were usually accessible. Other nearby streets were also accessible and there were not security points all over the area. You could walk into most of the great government buildings, at least into the lobby, and the US Capitol was open and most every area outside was accessible right up to the doors. Tourists would sit out on the steps and enjoy the views in those days, and a ticket for a tour of the White House or Capitol were readily available unless some great event was going on.
Not any more.
There are still tours, but the hours are limited and the security very tight. You can no longer get close to certain buildings, and several streets are always closed to traffic. Barriers are all over the place, even though you may still be admitted past them in certain cases. There are barriers in front of most government buildings now to protect against car bombs and security personnel are very visible.
I do not fault our government for any of this, as we all know that we are living through perilous times in which almost anyone can be a threat to the peace, and I would not suggest that government workers should be expected to work in unsafe venues. And we have seen quite recently that even in secure areas a nut-job can kill and maim.
Is it any wonder that our government has reason to fear its people? Is it any wonder that our people have reason to mistrust our government? After all, we are separated by barriers!
As a history enthusiast, I can’t help walking around outside of a barrier and thinking of other times when people could just walk right into the White House and ask to see the president! Somehow, I have the sense that we’ve lost something, both our leaders and our people, and it bothers me.
I would hope that you might share my unease, but I also hope that we won’t just blame our leaders; what would we have them to do?
Our Lord taught us to pray for our leaders; do we? Oh come on, do we really? I don’t mean having someone read a prayer for our leaders out of a book every week, I mean really pray with all of our hearts! Do we really pray for the Gospel of Jesus Christ to spread and become the light of the world? Do we pray that God’s will would be done on earth as it is in Heaven, understanding that this means that God’s will would be the only thing done on earth?
Would you be willing to join me in these prayers and share this with others, encouraging them to join us?
Why shouldn’t we be willing to ask God for big things!