I don’t know if prayer changes the mind of God, but it changes me.
C.S. Lewis from “Shadowland”
By Dr. Jim Ferguson
Years ago, Malcolm Gladwell wrote “The Tipping Point.” In his book, Gladwell describes a point where systems or events begin to irreversibly cascade. The phrase “no turning back “mirrors this observational point.
I may be wrong, but I sense a turning point in our country. Unfortunately, I’ve been disappointed so many times as I watch politicians ignore the will of voters and, instead, further their party’s agenda or feather their own nests.
I am not an optimist who sees a cup as half full. Nor am I a pessimist who sees the cup half empty. I’m a realist who sometimes grasps at hope.
I keep looking for a sign that things are about to change. I think surely people will stop supporting the destructive policies of Democrats and Biden. Nor can I understand the pathologic hatred of President Trump which elected the demented Joe Biden. But then I do not understand schizophrenia.
Perhaps my mistake has been looking for one event that might signify a turning point in our country. I realize it’s often a series of small steps that add up to produce a point where events suddenly cascade. However, an event may be recognized as the point where the dominos begin to fall. And perhaps an NFL football player precipitated such a turning point.
Most Americans are aware of Damar Hamlin’s cardiac arrest during the Buffalo Bills football game January 2nd. As Becky and I watched his collapse and resuscitation I shook my head. I have participated in hundreds of cardiac resuscitations. Even if a cardiac arrest occurs in an intensive care unit, it is a catastrophic, life-threatening situation. And the chances of survival in an “out of hospital” cardiac arrest is not zero, but small.
All of us were horrified, but in that seemingly helpless moment, a man of faith on ESPN offered a spontaneous prayer for Damar. That galvanized untold millions. And as you now know, Damar “miraculously” survived, apparently with no brain damage. Yes, Mr. Hamlin was “healthy,” received prompt and appropriate care on the field, including defibrillation with an AED (automated external defibrillator). But I aver there is more to the story.
A miracle is an event that cannot be completely explained by natural phenomena and is therefore supernatural. For one who embraces a spiritual perspective, Damar’s story has a miraculous and prayerful component.
The Christian apologist C. S. Lewis was an Oxford don who found love late in life, only to watch his beloved die of cancer. Lewis was asked by an atheist associate if his prayers would help his dying wife. The “intellectually honest” colleague was incapable of understanding Lewis’ spiritual perspective and response.
We may never know whether Mr. Hamlin had an unknown medical condition or if his cardiac arrest was a freak event. Unfortunately, there has been a drastic increase in similar “freak events” occurring in young persons like the Air Force Academy football player. I am no expert in football, but I have seen far more violent collisions than Mr. Hamlin’s. I read that the Buffalo Bills had a 100% Covid vaccination policy and I assume the Air Force Academy was similar. Damar may never play football again, but as one of his doctors said, he “won the game of life.”
I use Damar’s cardiac arrest, which promoted national prayer, as a possible turning point of other positive events. Despite what Democrats, RINOS and the corrupt media say, 20 conservative Republicans in the House of Representatives were resolute (the title of last week’s essay) and brought about changes that will make Congress more accountable and our country better. Any rational person can see that the Washington status quo needs to be reformed.
In 1517 an obscure Catholic priest became alarmed by corruption in the Church and posted his 95 Theses (recommendations for reform) to the door of All Saints Church in Wittenberg, Germany. His name was Martin Luther. He did not set out to split the Church, but his revelations of corruption, especially the selling of indulgences, galvanized a movement of “protest” which became The Protestant Reformation. Luther was subsequently put on trial for his life in 1521. He refused to recant and would famously say, “To go against conscience is neither right nor safe.”
I am not equating the courage of Martin Luther with principled, conservative Republicans. However, I believe their resolute stance was important. Luther was excommunicated, which Catholics believe imperils the immortal soul. And with his conviction as a heretic, Luther was condemned to a tortured execution. However, he was protected by his German prince and would go on to defy the Church and translate the Bible into his native German. In fact, a hundred years earlier, another reformer, John Hus, was burned at the stake for similar heresies. As Hus was dying, he shouted, “In 100 years, God will raise up a man whose calls for reform cannot be suppressed.”
There are many pieces to a puzzle of change. Additionally, we can add the recent discovery of Biden’s troves of “classified” documents at his University of Pennsylvania think-tank (oxymoronic?) and his Delaware garage. And was it the 12 terrorists on the watchlist apprehended in November that finally drove Biden to the border? We may never know whether our POTUS has any clue about the border crisis he and his handlers created. He is probably clueless regarding the classified information in his garage and just about everything else. My prayer for the next two years is, God help us!
There are other dominos falling with the serial release of Twitter files documenting malfeasance of the FBI and many other government agencies. People no longer trust the institutions who have lied and liars like Adam Schiff who have misled us. Parents and patriots now understand and are pushing back against the manipulative gaslighting of the media, so-called educators who push gender studies and race hustlers like Al Sharpton.
Make no mistake, we are at war. And wars do not end without a victor. Nor can mercy be shown until justice is done (Micah 6:8). Let’s save our country and then a process of reconciliation can begin.