“My kitchen is my deer stand. We take the screen off one of the windows every fall. I can see a pretty good ways from there.” So says Virginia Luce, an eighty-year-old grandmother in East Texas who recently shot an eleven-point buck from her kitchen window.
The four-time cancer survivor retired just two months ago from a twenty-five-year career as a registered nurse. She was making lunch around noon on November 8 when she spotted the buck 175 yards away. After confirming its identity with her binoculars, she shot and killed him with her rifle. Her eighty-three-year-old husband then drove the tractor out and brought it back to the house.
“When I saw all those horns, I thought I was seeing things,” Virginia said. “I got so excited about that deer that I can’t even remember what I was fixing for lunch.”
“The greatest threat to democracy since World War II”
The world could use more people like Virginia Luce these days.
The Jerusalem Post reported yesterday that Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei may have transferred power to his son Mojtaba Hosseini Khamenei, age fifty-one, amid concerns over his declining health. Another candidate would be the head of Iran’s judiciary, Ebrahim Raisi. Both are viewed as hardliners with regard to the West. If either succeeded Khamenei, the Post warns that “there would be major implications for the US and Israel.”
In other geopolitical news, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe stated in the Wall Street Journal, “the People’s Republic of China poses the greatest threat to America today, and the greatest threat to democracy and freedom worldwide since World War II.”
The director explained that “Beijing intends to dominate the US and the rest of the planet economically, militarily, and technologically.” They rob US companies of their intellectual property, steal sensitive US defense technology, and have “even conducted human testing on members of the People’s Liberation Army in hopes of developing soldiers with biologically enhanced capabilities.”
He concluded: “There are no ethical boundaries to Beijing’s pursuit of power.”
“The worst event that this country will face”
Closer to home, the coronavirus pandemic continues to worsen. As the Wall Street Journal reports, winter “offers perfect conditions for COVID-19” as more of us spend time indoors in heated homes that are poorly ventilated, all factors in spreading the virus. The pandemic will soon kill more Americans than died during combat in World War II.
Even more frightening news: a new study shows that the number of Americans killed by COVID-19 could double in coming months, despite a nationwide rollout of vaccines. This is why the CDC director, Dr. Robert R. Redfield, believes that this winter will be “the most difficult time in the public health history of this nation.”
Dr. Deborah Birx, response coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, warned yesterday, “This is the worst event this country will face, not just from a public health side.” She is pleading with Americans to change their behavior with regard to the virus: “We cannot go into the holiday season, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, with the same kind of attitude, that those gatherings don’t apply to me. They apply to everybody.”
“I want to be very frank with the American people,” Dr. Birx added. “The vaccine is critical, but it’s not going to save us from this current surge. Only we can save us from this current surge, and we know precisely what to do.”
A powerful metaphor and two imperatives
What do these stories have in common? They each illustrate the power of worldview:
- Iran’s clerical leaders seek to hasten the return of the Mahdi, their messiah, by expanding Shiite ideology across the region and confronting Israel and the West.
- China’s communist leaders are “aiming for global power and perhaps global primacy over the next generation” by dominating their competitors through economic, technological, and military means. Their own soldiers and citizens are a means to this end.
- Americans who ignore distancing, masks, and personal hygiene put themselves and everyone they contact at risk from the deadliest virus we have seen in a century. Our cultural emphasis on personal “truth” is literally killing people.
How should we respond biblically?
The Christian worldview centers in following Christ. It can be pictured by our Lord’s famous metaphor: “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me” (Matthew 11:29). This means (a) we follow his leadership, (b) we serve no one before him, (c) we work where he leads us rather than the field of our choosing, (d) our work accomplishes a larger purpose than we can know, and (e) our work is not finished until he says it is.
Applying this metaphor to today’s article, two imperatives emerge:
One: Jesus taught us to “ask, and it will be given to you” (Matthew 7:7). Have you prayed for Supreme Leader Khamenei and President Xi to meet Christ personally? Will you intercede daily for them and other leaders to follow Christ and lead biblically? Will you pray for Americans to respond to the pandemic in ways that protect themselves and others?
Two: Jesus taught us to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39). Will you make any necessary sacrifices to save lives during this pandemic? Will you care for those facing grief and need with the compassion you have experienced in Christ?
Emulating my father’s courage
My wife pointed out to me that today marks the anniversary of Pearl Harbor. This “date which will live in infamy” prompted my father to enlist in the Army during World War II. Like sixteen million other Americans, he was willing to pay any price that others might live in freedom.
Today, I pledge to do the same to share the spiritual freedom found only in Christ.
Will you join me?
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