Tears and near-tears. Frequently. That describes my time in Washington, D.C. from January 25-28 as I participated in the national March for Life and attended Evangelicals for Life conference. What kind of tears? Why tears? Let me explain.
These were the joyfully astonished tears that burst from a heart overwhelmed with a sense of God and His goodness. Similar perhaps to parental tears at the exclamation, "It's a boy!" Or maybe a little like the tears brought by the doctor's report, "There is no trace of the problem anymore." These are good tears. Deep tears. Joyful tears borne of God's grace.
Before the Conference and the March, I had some time to walk around several of the famous monuments in downtown D.C.. The salty brine in my eyes was first stirred as I beheld anew the godly heritage of our nation and its founders. It's etched in stone everywhere. The words inscribed on the walls of the Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials practically read like sermons. Good sermons. The reflections of American valor, courage, perseverance, and compassion reflected in war memorials – especially the World War II Memorial – overwhelmed me with thankfulness.
Beholding these many stately stone and bronze monuments was a vivid reminder of what I often overlook: that despite the darkness in us and our forbearers, we must rightly celebrate the ways that God has and still does "Shed His grace on thee," and how He has, in many ways throughout our history, "Crowned our good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea." From this tear-whetted well sprang many of my silent prayers throughout the weekend, "Lord, You are so good. You have been so good to us. Thank you. Thank you, Lord."
Against this backdrop, the Conference and the March were like that tear-jerking symphonic crescendo that comes at the end of a chick flick and that obliterates all remaining tough-guy, tear-barring resistance. God has given us so many Christ-followers who are striving for the weak and vulnerable. I met leaders and heard about multiple ministries borne of God's grace that are seeking to pierce the darkness that seeks to destroy the Imago Dei. I saw hundreds of thousands of people - mostly teens and twenty-somethings – walking through D.C. at the March peacefully, joyfully, and publicly declaring, "Life is precious."
It's easy for us to forget that God is active among the people of our nation, and that there is therefore some very good stuff happening. Be encouraged!