Our vans filled with a dozen teenagers and two chaperones pulled into the lot and for a brief thirty minutes we stood at the rim and peered down into the great depths of The Grand Canyon.
The enormity of the canyon from one side to the other is almost beyond comprehension. A magnificent display of beauty. The Navajo Bridge stretches over the Colorado River, bridging the gap.
Often, I consider another type of gap and it reminds me of The Grand Canyon.
The news reporter updates us on the rioting after a basketball game, or flashes pictures of a man who attempted to kill innocent people on a Navy base. The papers reveal the darkness of hearts that defraud hard-working Americans from their savings or give us the details about a flourishing porn industry.
We see it in the eyes of the woman who cuts us off and then rubs it in with her hand gestures and we hear it in the lyrics of a young girl who thinks that objectifying herself and using strong language is all par for the course of record sales.
The sin of the world widens the gap and its overwhelming breadth seems so powerful.
Ezekiel saw the same thing.
“‘Your priests violated my law and desecrated my holy things. They can’t tell the difference between sacred and secular. They tell people there’s no difference between right and wrong. They’re contemptuous of my holy Sabbaths, profaning me by trying to pull me down to their level. Your politicians are like wolves prowling and killing and rapaciously taking whatever they want. Your preachers cover up for the politicians by pretending to have received visions and special revelations. They say, “This is what God, the Master, says . . .” when God hasn’t said so much as one word. Extortion is rife, robbery is epidemic, the poor and needy are abused, outsiders are kicked around at will, with no access to justice.’
“I looked for someone to stand up for me against all this, to repair the defenses of the city, to take a stand for me and stand in the gap to protect this land so I wouldn’t have to destroy it. I couldn’t find anyone. Not one.” Ezekiel 22:26-30 The Message
In Ezekiel’s day, no one stood in the gap.
And then Jesus came to the lost world and spread His arms wide, tearing the veil in two and making a way for us to walk from darkness into light.
Today, I see many standing there, in the midst of a broken world, following in Jesus footsteps to remind us of the hope that we have in a hopeless world.
I see the mother busy at home praying over her son as she makes his bed in the morning.
I see the father passing up a promotion so that he has more time to invest in his daughters at home.
I read the book written by a mother who counts her blessings instead of adding complaints to her sorrows.
I watch the families walking for life.
I hear of the parents whose hearts yearn to adopt a foster child when the world would call him rubbish.
I witness the father who apologizes to his children for speaking harshly and humbles himself before them.
I know the woman who faithfully changes diapers, wipes jelly from the counter, and smiles all the while with the joy of the Lord on display to her children.
I listen to the man who has every right to complain put words to the wonder of everyday blessings and whispers them into the hearts of his family.
And I see you, dear mother and father, hopeful in affliction, steadfast in spirit, doing the good that God destined for you to do.
Standing in the gap with a mop in your hand and a smile on your face.
Bridging the chasm by building up your sons and daughters with Truth.
And as I observe your faithfulness, I too am strengthened to stand in the gap. I keep going. I no longer see a Grand Canyon of despair, but a band of brothers and sisters united in faith and forming a bridge of hope for my heart.
YOUR TURN! Who inspires you to keep the faith by standing in the gap?
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Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory. Psalm 115:1
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