No man needs a vacation so much as the man who has just had one.
Elbert Hubbard (1859-1915)
Apologies abound for the slight disruption recently in blogging…
But our family packed up two cars late last week and headed southward
toward the emerald waters and those sugar-white sands of Florida’s northern Gulf coast.
But more about all of that later…
So yes, a family vacation.
And so what do we know about vacations?
What do we know vacations to be?
In part, a vacation is intended for those who opt to head off to parts known or unknown,
in order to unplug, to unwind, to relax and perhaps actually reconnect with those
closest to the heart.
Our own little personal family’s jaunt included two under two,
so there wasn’t a whole lot of relaxing…
however there was a delightful shift in focus.
We were together.
And we were isolated from the rest of the world…or so it seemed.
The television, while seldomly turned on, was never turned to the news.
Computers were not turned on, let alone even touched.
Phones were used to take pictures not to check emails or alerts.
There was a much-welcomed 5 days of sheltered isolation.
We were simply left savoring the magic that happens between children and the seashore.
Nothing more, nothing less.
Yet yesterday, as we reluctantly and sadly loaded the cars in order to head back
to our real worlds, we were reminded in very quiet, yet very powerful ways,
that news had happened in our absence.
In small out of the way towns to tiny outpost post offices, as we journeyed northward,
flags were all flying at half-mast.
A US flag at half-mast is a very visceral and sobering gut check.
It reminds us that we are indeed a united Nation…no more so than in our
The half-mast flag is a significant sign of unification for a nation that has smugly
forgotten the very fact that it is united rather than divided.
It seems that there were more mass shootings taking place almost simultaneously around
31 lives lost
while many more hang in the balance from their sustained wounds.
And once again, the people cry out to their government, “What will you now do?!”
And it is in that cry that I am once again perplexed…
The people cry out to their government, their legislators, their president…
“what will you do to stop all of this???”
This oh-so divided Nation that tends to draw within herself when her flags are lowered,
now demands its government do something to stop the madness.
The evil madness of mass murders.
The real help, however, the real answers, will not be found in the voices of our
presidential pundits or of our local or national legislators…or even
in the words of our much-maligned president…
No…the answers will not be found in what man can do for man…
simply because man is too busy killing man…
The answer is simple really and is found in the tiny fact that we are a nation
that has abandoned our God.
There will be those, many in number, who will argue that God matters not when
a madman takes a gun…
And yet the evil remains does it not?
And so, therefore, where lies our hope, our help, our solutions, our redemption,
In our government?
In our leaders?
In the words of man?
I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me;
I was found by those who did not seek me. To a nation that did not call on my name,
I said, ‘Here am I, here am I.’
All day long I have held out my hands to an obstinate people,
who walk in ways not good, pursuing their own imaginations—
a people who continually provoke me to my very face,