Pay the Band, Call the Tune

It seems to me America is losing her way a little more every day. Every news cast has some coverage that makes me wonder why God tarries and doesn’t come back right now. Yes, it seems we’ve lost our way, even the light that showed us the way, as if we’re walking the line between right and wrong and we’re not just dipping one of our toes in on the side of wrong we’re up to our necks in it and think no one notices! In the last couple decades when it came to most political offices, national, state or regional I’ve found myself choosing the least of two evils. Sometimes it has seemed as if my vote was wasted. Despite grass root efforts to purge the government system of people in elected offices going their own way on issues and against the very people they swore to represent the results are certainly not catching on like wildfire.

Healthcare reform alone is a powder keg in the United States. As is gun control, education, illegal aliens, and of course, the economy. This is not about who has what office and certainly not about the color of their skin, gender or sexual orientation. This is about reality and finding truth and knowing who the “good guys” are in a time when America needs more than a few heroes.

While powers that be quote figures and paint pretty pictures the rest of us live in hard reality. Let me tell you about a family of four in Knoxville, Tennessee who will wake up this morning and move to a shelter. They are being evicted because the mother’s salary, even though she is working 50 hours or more a week, just can’t cover the day to day living expenses for her husband, herself and their two children. Their oldest will start school this year. Their youngest is not yet two years old. This family is evicted. The majority of their household and personal items are already up to be sold at auction for not being able to pay the bill on their storage unit and their other vehicle impounded by the military for being parked on base.

The husband and father was honorably discharged from the United States Army having served through two deployments to Iraq, with a “General Discharge under Honorable Conditions”. The family planned to move to Knoxville, both get jobs, put the children in daycare and begin their civilian lives. But the money they had planned to survive on is being withheld by the Army and since the mom found work first the dad is staying at home with the kids because they can’t afford daycare. This is not how they planned for this transition in their lives, but this is their reality. A train wreck about to happen and no way to stop it. By the time the government straightens out the money issue they will be back on square one, starting all over again.

These are God’s children, not that they are without sin or bad decisions and tough consequences but mainly they are caught in the messy, sticky “recovering” economy. Resources for public housing have waiting lists of 1-2 years, shelters are full, and churches and social services agencies have little to offer pointing to a lack of funding. Chances are this couple will become involved with child protective services and may lose custody of their two children temporarily.

Lack of funding. Cuts in services. Reimbursement rates slashed. Who qualifies for services narrowed to make it harder to receive what few services are available. These cuts have been nearly deadly to a local social services agency that has spent decades helping families and protecting children. Eight years ago they believed they were set to move into new areas of service and expansion on the ones already offered. Instead they have suffered tremendously financially and so they have downsized and reorganized and repeated the process over and over and over again. It really is a make it or break it year for them.

We all know situations like these and others. People who lost jobs and can’t find new ones or find ones that pay just enough or not quite enough. No, no I don’t see this pretty picture of recovery.

The children of the couple in Tennessee are innocent. The children this social services agency helps here locally are victims of webs of generational issues and bad decisions from family and now from government too. Where is the good winning for these children?

Somewhere along the way America began thinking that the government should be responsible for just about everything. Education. Health care. Housing. Food. Transportation. Utilities. Medication. We just kept inviting the government into our living rooms and now realize that maybe it wasn’t such a good idea. As my dad once said, “He who pays the band calls the tune”.

And who suffers now? Who will pay? Our children and grandchildren and probably our great-great grandchildren.

God has said it will seem as if the evilness in humanity is winning, prospering even, but He also said that this is only for a time. I invite you to read Psalm 73:1-28 to read the whole Scripture passage.

It’s hard to accept, because we want it NOW but how we win is that by being the Children of God we win in a realm beyond this one of suffering and sorrow. For there is coming a day when we will pass from this feeble imitation of life into a life that is truly living because it will be in the presence of God Himself. And His light will shine and there will be no more evil, no more darkness, and no more good guys speaking out of both sides of their faces. For God is REAL and He is GOOD and He is RIGHT and He does love you. He proved that over 2000 years ago on a cross at Calvary and then a borrowed tomb. (Read Matthew 26:1 – 28:20; Mark 14:1 – 16:20; Luke 22:1 – 24:53 and John 18:1 – 21:25.)

Perhaps that seems like a long time to wait…we’ve been waiting for centuries for Jesus to return and some have made that passage already through death. But, good will triumph. Evil will cease. Peace will be had.

Meanwhile, if God has blessed you with material possessions and resources please consider increasing your contribution or giving to agencies desperately in need so they can help others. It is difficult to hold onto hope when your children suffer and you are strangled by circumstances beyond your control.

Let’s remember, that there but by the grace of God go I!



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