New York Times Magazine.” Everything changed then. He became a political animal and couldn’t offer to help me enough.
So when I saw the Bundy conflict on television and YouTube I emphathized with the protesters. Good for them! But as the emails and Facebook messages begin flooding in I felt sick. Two main groups were writing me. Cowboys and ministers. The cowboys being mad, I understood, but the men of God was another matter. Where was Christ in this? I saw the law officers in another light. Surely among them, perhaps the one that might catch a militia bullet, was a devout young man with a wife and young family. He probably served his country in Iraq and Afghanistan and dreamed of a career in law enforcement. He was not a “jack-booted thug.” He was a brother. True evil always stands behind a few deceived men who stand behind a thousand men who do not understand the men they work for. Had I no compassion for men under orders?
What would change their minds, their hearts? The threats of bullets? They are warriors. The threat of women being put at the front so the nation might see them die at their hands if shooting started? They are men under command.
Of all things in the emails and messages I sorted through, what bothered me most was the rancor and opportunism from some of my Christian friends. Was this the day, as Christ said, that we go and buy the sword? The Body of Christ has known those days before. Was the cheek-turning over, had peacemaking ceased, were we ready to reap the seeds we seemed so eager to plant? Were our methods as noble as our cause? Did we so fear tribulation we demanded to hurry it?
In that rancorous din I found one peace: A man had to follow his own heart. I was reminded of a dream I’d had in May, 2011. In the dream what seemed to be an angel said to me, “The key to the End Times is Ezekiel 1:12.” I awakened and read the Scripture.
How cryptic can you be, Lord? Straight forward to where? Forward to battle? Forward to a cross of sacrifice?
But that wasn’t the message. It wasn’t a matter of where. It was a matter of listening and obeying. It was a matter of priorities. Of what comes first. Not country, not land, not Constitution, nor righteous anger.
John L. Mooreis a third-generation Montanan and has written about the West for over 40 years. His latest novel, Looking for Lynne, will be released next month and deals with many of these topics.