Dawn found an armored troop carrier, concrete blockades, and heavily armed troops in control of the main intersection north of Tent City. Roads in all direction were blocked in similar fashion. Using hand signals and grim determination, quiet patrols fanned out into the neighboring hills, searching for the unknown enemy. Terrorist attacks on already injured civs including children didn’t set too well with these veteran troops. The refugees from Ravenna woke to the sound of National Guard helicopters moving troops north of Tent City.
Pastor Herb and Diane had to hear the story several times. Herb was impressed by Ted’ vision more than anything else. God, what are you doing here? First the disaster yesterday, then the flood of refugees to us for help, then, wow, those incredible conversions with Ted casting out demons! Now last night another disaster averted through a second vision for Ted. How can these things be?
Herb turned to Diane for her ideas. “We haven’t seen God’ Power displayed like this, ever. What’s God doing here? How can such hatred exist?”
Diane returned his look with her serious tone. “Yes, that’s it. The hatred. Is it for us, specifically, or just because we stand for Christ, you know, against the darkness? Oh honey, what about the services this morning? Should we cancel the whole thing, or move forward?”
Herb waited, trying to feel his way forward. “It’s a serious thing, with the earthquake, Ravenna all but destroyed, the near terrorist bombings, the arrests, now an armed camp around us. We’ve been through so much in just two days. I wonder…, what would the ancient Bible characters do in our shoes? You know, like David, or Gideon?
Think what they went through, you know the list in Hebrews 11, and yet they didn’t stray off course. They found a way to keep going in the face of what…, hard times, death, and catastrophe. I don’t see how we’re any different. Yeah, that’s it. I’m for going forward, you know, maybe as an example of stepping out in faith where others would pull back. What do you think Diane?”
Diane looked to Herb in a new light. “Oh honey, you’re right, of course. I only thought of my own fear. I imagine others might be afraid as I am. You’re right and I’ll stand by you no matter what.”
Herb pulled Diane closer for a good hug. “Thanks dear. That means a lot to me. There will be so many who don’t have a wife to stand by them like I do. Maybe that’s why we need to make our stand, just like Ralph prayed, to make our stand against the darkness so that others might see the light.
It’s settled then. I’ll spread the news so there’s no doubt.” A verse of an old hymn came to Herb as he walked back to church. He hummed along as the words crossed his mind. Onward, forward, shout again Hosanna, Christ is captain of the mighty throng.