They pray and prey: A story of child rape and assault, at the hands of Luke Martin (Lancaster, PA)

His smile sickened me. Disgusted me.

He attempted to reassure me. “I know the Lord and my life is changed.”

****

BACKGROUND TO SHARING THIS STORY

A friend asked if we could share the following story on my blog. The woman in the story felt compelled to speak out about her horrific experiences with Luke H Martin, of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, (EDIT: born in 1955 to Jonas M and Elizabeth Martin) recently after he approached his victim at an event. He showed no concern for her wellbeing, nor awareness of her lack of safety near him. Many years earlier, when confronted, he acknowledged his abuse of her, but failed to acknowledge the harm done to his victim(s). This confrontation took place after she was an adult.

This story begins with chaos and family dysfunction. There were many adults in this home. Yet, none seemed to notice when a little girl began experiencing the horror that her next 3 years would become. At the dinner table during prayer, in the barn before chores, after chores, and even during chores. In her bed at night, the bed she shared with her sister. 

From age 8 to 11, this little girl experienced hell at the hands of a hired man who was old enough to know better. He simply did not care about anyone or anything, but himself and his vile desires.

****

A WORD OF INTRODUCTION FROM THE AUTHOR

I never thought I would have the opportunity to share my story, my experience, and the nightmare this man inflicted on me. It was after our last ‘accidental’ meeting that I resolved, after some thought, that it was time to share my story publicly. I tell my story so others will know what he is capable of. So others harmed by him will know they are not alone in being abused and deeply hurt by this man. In hopes that others will feel less alone and find the courage to tell their stories. Especially other victims of the man who abused me.

****

A HORROR FROM DAYS GONE BY

Luke Martin was 19 or 20 when he was hired to help on our farm. We shared a house with my grandparents, and two young women between 20 and 30 years old, as I recall. In total, with Luke, there were 7 adults in my home. Not one ever noticed what was happening under their roof, at their dinner table, in their barn. Being the oldest child, I was often tasked with helping Luke with his various duties. It was not unusual to be in the stripping room, stripping tobacco, just me and him. 

Daily life, after Luke entered our home, changed dramatically as he took every opportunity to molest me. Our home wasn’t perfect, but my parents loved me, and they loved each other. With them, I was safe. Luke robbed me of safety in my home. He disrupted my development. He stole my confidence. 

The worst was time spent alone in the barn with him. Luke created a fort in the haymow, as children do, which kept others from seeing what was happening behind those hay bales. He created this sick ritual where he acknowledged that what he was going to do to me was wrong in God’s eyes, because I was an innocent child. He justified his crimes by telling me I must ask him to do whatever evil thing he desired that day. He would then respond with, “Let’s pray.” This was followed by a short time of silence during which time he expected me to pray and ask God to forgive him for the sins he was about to commit. Since I was an innocent child, God would surely hear my prayer. 

After prayer, there in the haymow, he not only raped and molested me, but he also had a dog do it to me as well. He also forced me to watch him commit these acts on our female dog. In the barn, it was just him and me, while all the other adults were doing other things, which gave him opportunity to repeat these horrific assaults whenever he pleased. 

A year after the abuse started, I got my first period. Despite not having an education about periods and pregnancy, I would spend time looking in the mirror, fearing that I was potentially pregnant. Each month I was relieved when my period came. The anxiety and worry about giving birth to a half-human, half-dog being was all-consuming. How would I explain that at 9 years old? What would people think? 

Luke took pleasure in taking me to watch animals have sex. “This is how people do it!” he assured me. He would take me to watch pigs, dogs, cats, and whatever animal he came upon mating. “This is how your parents do it,” he told me time after time. I remember feeling disgusted and ashamed at seeing animals do this and being told my parents did these same acts. 

The fear and the shame built up and I acted out at school. I cheated. I lied. I was disruptive and thought of myself as being the class clown. At home, I was angry and disrespectful. I was very frustrated that no one seemed to notice or care about the pain I suffered, the humiliation I endured, and the shame I constantly felt alongside the crippling fear. 

I first attempted to die by suicide at age 9. I took a handful of Aspirin and went to bed, desperately hoping to not wake up the next morning. I awoke the next morning, stretched my arms and moved my fingers, and realized that I was still alive. I was disappointed to have to face not just that day but all the feelings that went alongside being a victim of Luke’s abuse. I tried two more times to end my life, each time taking even more aspirin. And each time I felt the same disappointment. 

Luke also had a temper. On his final day at our home, he became enraged because Dad hadn’t gotten a chance to buy him the muffler for the tractor that Luke wanted, so he packed his bags and walked off. Watching Luke walk away brought me a sense of peace. I can easily define that moment as being the best feeling that Luke had ever evoked in me. I can still see his buggy drive down the road. With each clip-clop, knowing he was farther and farther away, I was finally safe from his vile and calculated abuse. 

I was finally safe from his sexualizing everything from me to the animals. That day changed my life for the better. 

****

A RECENT ENCOUNTER

The night I bumped into Luke, some months ago – and he smiled ‘that’ smile – was another game changer. He seemed aware of my life and all that had happened in the last 37 years, as though he had been stalking me all those years, dating back to when he was approached by his bishop regarding abusing me. 

Luke smiled at me and said, “I cried many a’night when I found out how your life turned out.” His demeanor can only be described as “giddy.” His actions and words far from appropriate. Imagine spending three years of your adult life making a young child suffer for sexual gratification, and then having the audacity to approach her decades later and tell her how changed you are. 

As I share my story, I look back and realize how many other times he inserted himself in my life since I am an adult. There was one time, in particular, I thought I saw him at an event that I attended. I just couldn’t be sure that it was him. But then I smelled him. His distinct body odor confirmed for me that it was him; he smelled just as he did when he abused me. The trigger of his scent alone caused me to spend many ensuing nights reliving childhood trauma through nightmares and flashbacks. Details and events that I have never before shared publicly. 

When he stood before me, smiling and giddy, a few months ago, I asked him the following question: “Do you realize what you took from me, from other young girls, and [specific identity redacted]?” 

Luke’s smile never changed. If anything, the twinkle in his eye seemed to shine brighter. He did not deny what I said. I was confident I was not the only victim of his depravity, though I did not know if he had ever acknowledged other victims. The skill with which he manipulated our home from the start, to harm me as he did, indicated he was already an experienced and highly skilled abuser. 

Luke repeated that the Lord had changed him and he was not the same man. He leaned close to me, seeming not to recognize how significant his actions were, and his response to my question. He seemed to have no perception of what he had truly done. We were not talking about something trivial. And, yet, his body language suggested that this was a conversation about him; something that seemed to boost his ego.

Standing there close to me, a victim of his horrific sexual violence, he insisted over and over how the Lord had changed him. He was unphased. Unphased by me boldly asking him if he knew the significance of what he had done. Unphased by the people walking around. Oblivious to the witnesses his body language was drawing. He did not grasp the pain he had caused me, other victims, and his wife and family by his actions. 

I reminded him during our conversation, “This isn’t about you.” 

After he walked away, another lady asked me if I was okay. I wasn’t. I admitted that and explained who he was and what he had done. She looked around. Families with children were nearby, and all around. Young people were walking in groups, some were alone. She was especially concerned about the vulnerability of young girls walking around without adults. 

She looked at me, “How is it, that a man like that, can be here in a place where there are other young children?” Her eyes were kind toward me, and yet at that moment, she realized that in a place where there are many Mennonite and Amish families, a predator was free to roam about. Her feelings of safety and security were suddenly destroyed, knowing that Luke was there and so bold in his approach and actions toward me. 

She told me that she had observed our interaction. I asked if it was because I had seemed angry. She shook her head no. “It was him. He just was acting odd.” 

After this event I reached out to a friend and asked if they know of any avenues to sharing my story. They told me of this blog, and reached out on my behalf. 

The night I bumped into Luke, a few months ago, my boldness overshadowed my fear and my nerves. I finally confronted him. There wasn’t a shadow of a doubt or a nudge of fear on his face; it was then I decided I want to share my story publicly. I want others to know who he is and what he has done, to ensure he never does this again. The Lord is capable of big things, including changing him, if he becomes truly repentant. Even so, those who have been victimized and harmed by him, should be acknowledged and given opportunity to heal, without him approaching them and terrorizing them through nightmares and flashbacks.

Over 30 years ago, Luke acknowledged his sex crimes when the bishop confronted him for what he had done to me as a child. To our church’s credit, he was excommunicated. Immediately, he began attending a church back in his hometown, near our family. 

I have seen Luke several times in the last number of years, where he had ample opportunity to acknowledge the sexual assault and harm. But he never had the courage to own his sins with me, his victim. Yet, somehow, he had the nerve to repeatedly tell me that he was a changed man. It was, once again, all about him and what he wanted or needed. It was, again, about him trying to take power over me. 

My life and the things that I have overcome and accomplished are not because of him. They are because of God’s goodness; He has given me the strength to overcome much trauma. I know that my story isn’t typical. When my family stopped farming and my father chose another occupation, it was a wonderful time for our family. There was no more anxiety about who the next hired man might be. No more fear of what he may try to do in the night, or even at the dinner table. Never again did I worry about being in a haymow, and I never did have to go back into a barn or a stripping room. 

****

I never thought I would have the opportunity to share my story publicly for others who need to know that Luke Martin is a sexual predator who harms little children. I write this story because I want other victims to know, “You are not alone.” I want them to know they are supported if they choose to come forward and report him.  

~ One little girl… now grown up and healed enough to speak ~

****

We tell the hard stories because they speak truth. We tell the hard stories to give others courage to speak. We tell them for the sake of accountability for the offender, and for the sake of justice and mercy. There is no greater mercy than to value the life of a child enough to create awareness. Above all, we tell them because to speak is part of the healing process, and it is critical for protecting children and the vulnerable.

Therefore, we will continue to speak. Continue to invite God into the chaos, the trauma and the horror of sins and crimes committed in His name, against His little ones.

As always…
Love,
~ T ~

© Trudy Metzger 2022

Hope, birthed in an Easter Candy Hunt

Easter.

What does it mean?

I awakened this morning to the wonder of this day, Easter. A day when we Christians celebrate the resurrection of our Saviour.

For me, a day filled with warm childhood memories during the early years in Mexico, before religious traditions put an end to Easter egg hunts. Was it an annual tradition? Or did it happen only once? I don’t know. But I remember searching for Easter candy as a preschooler. Tagging along with older siblings, the place I remember with greatest fondness is the straw bales, and finding candy there.

Life was harsh, back then, with family violence and struggling parents. But those moments were sweet. It wasn’t just the candy. My memory of the day held much deeper meaning than candy, though, back then, I did like the sugar rush too. (Less, now). The sweetness was a blend of the treats and a reprieve from the mundane, struggling, ordinary life. A life I would grow up to discover was not ordinary at all. But back then it was.

Easter morning, long after the candy hunts ended, or hunt as the case may be, became a day of hope for me, starting in childhood. We moved to Canada the summer before I turned six. If we ever did an Easter candy hunt again, I have no recollection of it. But I distinctly remember the hope.

Hope that filled my chest one crisp Easter morning when I was around eight. There was no particular reason for it, other than a feeling that I had been conditioned for, in Mexico. It was a day set apart. I was dressed in my Sunday best, with little white ankle socks and shiny black patent shoes, with straps. It was the straps I liked the most. They made me feel pretty. I went outside that crisp Easter morning, and as I breathed in, it was as if I breathed in new life. It had been cool enough the night before that a thin shell of ice had formed over the puddle. I tapped it with my shoe, breaking it, and picked up a piece to feel the coolness.

It was a happy morning.

My father stood chatting with someone who had dropped by. I listened without hearing, and watched them. And then I ran off to play in the old car, with no wheels, sitting amongst dad’s junk collection. (Or ‘prell’ as we called it in Plautdeutsch, rolling the ‘r’).

I’ve often wondered why I recall that morning so vividly, and still, at 50, feel it when I think back. The scene, forever etched on my memory, is profound only for what I felt. Joy. Peace. Hope. That same feeling is associated with a special yellow dress I had in my early teens. And every Easter, most of my life, since childhood.

Easter. What does it mean to me?

In childhood, Easter was the silver lining in a hard life. It took me years to understand why it filled my chest as it did, long after the candy hunts ended, no longer part of our family’s tradition. Even before I truly understood the symbolism of its spiritual meaning. 

Today I understand.

That special day, searching for candy among the straw bales, hope was birthed in me. In stark contrast with the harshness of life, the simple celebration of that morning, wandering our property in search of candy, was a blessed relief. It promised a better life is possible.

Screen Shot 2020-04-12 at 9.09.05 AM

Somewhere in my teens I started to grasp the deep spiritual significance of that childhood hope. The stirring in my chest transitioned from that childhood unknown, to a powerful awareness of what Jesus did for me on the cross.

I, a sinner. He, God eternal. And He chose that broken path to the cross, for me. For my sin. My redemption. He chose trauma, death, and suffering. For me. To offer me reprieve from the brokenness of my life. Dying for my sin. And, not only for my sin, but all the brokenness that I would experience. And yours. He stepped in, unhesitatingly,

A promise of love, that declared I am worth being loved. Of being valued. So worth love that He would die to buy my freedom to know love.

We call that day, “Good Friday”. I read the story, and ponder the path He walked, His suffering, and I think there’s not one good thing about that day. Nothing. How can it be good when they kill an innocent man, and it is my sin and shame that played a hand in it?

It is the darkest of days in our Christian. history. It is symbolic of my life before I knew Him personally. That day. It feels like the days when violence ruled my childhood. Heavy. Broken. Tragic.

That Day.

I remember it. I acknowledge it. I worship my God on ‘that day’. I am deeply, deeply grateful for that day. But it is not ‘Good Friday’ to me. No offence to my Christian heritage and chosen lingo. It was a Friday (or Thursday, depending who you ask), from hell. It was evil, at its lowest depths, attacking the sacred like it never had before. Like it never would, or even could, again

That Day was the epitome of evil, the height of spiritual darkness.

Oh… but Easter was coming!

On that third day, when hope of a fulfilled promise, seemed to have died… When death would have begun to set into the corpse… When the rituals of spicing the body of The Christ had been delayed because of the Sabbath, and would not be so pleasant with decay having begun…

That Easter morning. Hope was dead. The harsh reality of practical burial rituals beckoned Mary to return and begin the process of grieving properly.

There, in utter hopelessness, He was. A promise fulfilled. Risen from the grave. Fully alive.

In that moment, as His body breathed in deep of our fallen world, He took in, again, the sins and sorrows of the generations.

And as He exhaled, He breath filled our world with His Eternal Presence.

Hope, birthed in an infant, snuffed out on the cross – or so it seemed, came alive in His resurrection.

Hope breathed the eternal into our fallenness. Our brokenness. Our sorrow. Our lostness.

Hope.

That’s what Easter means to me.

Hope. A promise fulfilled. New life.

This Easter, wherever you find yourself in the midst of this present chaos, I pray His life will breathe hope into your heart.

I pray that…
Where there is fear, may you be filled Hope. Where there is brokenness, Hope will touch you with His healing. Where there is fallenness, Hope will cover you with forgiveness, grace and redemption. Where there is betrayal, Hope will surround and fill you with love. Where there is emptiness, Hope will rise victorious in you; that your life will be the testimony of the empty tomb giving birth to new and greater things, of eternal value. Above all, I pray, that you will know the Jesus of the resurrection, personally. No matter who you are (or think you are), or what you have done, Jesus died, for you. But He did not stay in the grave! He conquered death so that you, so that I, would know eternal life with Him.

This is my prayer for you today, and for me.

Happy Easter!

*****

As I wrote this, Broken Vessels crossed my YouTube playlist.  I will leave it here for you to enjoy, if contemporary worship is your thing. It is my testimony. The revelation of His love. The wonder that He would lay down His life to raise the broken to life.

What a Saviour!

As always…

Love,
~ T ~

© Trudy Metzger 2020

Update: Anabaptist church in the Bronx & an invitation to a day of prayer and fasting, April 3

Each day I look forward to updates from Rich about what their church has been up to. It isn’t possible for me to do what they are doing, though I would long to do so, so for now I do the part I can: pray, share their updates, and contribute financially. A week ago I didn’t know he and Sandy are pastoring a church, and knew nothing about their church, and now  they have left a ‘heart print’ on my life, and many of you. Following is his update:

***A few disclaimers to our friends and acquaintances. As I read through your kind, thoughtful comments from last night’s post and noticed that many friends shared the post, I got a bit uneasy. I mean, our family and close friends and church know that my breath stinks if I don’t brush my teeth or take a breath mint, and I can blow up a bathroom with the best of them. Another way to put this? We are just ordinary people serving an extraordinary God. Some of you seem to have been preparing nominations for sainthood for Rich and Sandy. Please don’t waste your postage. We are ordinary people serving an extraordinary God. We really do appreciate your prayers! Seriously.

This global, national, and local crisis is serious, despite those who think it is just a vast left-wing conspiracy to unseat the powers that be. Political hacks exist in every party and in every community, but this is more serious than any political hack. I am suggesting to our church group and to any other believers out there who are interested, please consider making Friday, April 3rd, a Day of Prayer and Fasting.

II Chronicles 7:12-14 is very relevant for such a time as this. “When I…send a pestilence…if my people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” The people of God will always make the right choice when we humble ourselves, and pray and seek the face of God, and repent of anything we need to repent of. Fasting provides us a chance to identify more closely with the suffering that others are facing, and to direct ourselves away from our food [and other] addictions and towards God.

2 Chronicles 7:14

I am hesitant to mention names of people to pray for in this public forum, but if you are interested in a list of prayer requests email us at uwriterich@gmail.com

Friends have been asking how to give to us as we help here. We have a church PayPal account, bjcgive@gmail.com. The church received $880 in the past two days from friends interested in helping us as we help our community. If you want to give now, we will designate it for ministry for EMS workers, ER workers, and other persons affected by this crisis. We have a friend who lost his job, a friend whose business is struggling, and the friend on the ventilator we mentioned last night has some financial difficulties. Brianna said that we ought to see if we could start a fund to help people who are out of a job who can’t pay their rent. I think that’s a great idea. Unfortunately, this struggle is going to hit many parts of the US and world. We are in the middle of it right here in NYC, but there are places around the US and around the world that are soon going to be in the middle of it, either with the medical crisis or the economic crisis, and probably both. If you would rather give directly to us as a family you could PM us and we could send you our mailing or PayPal address.

We are hoping to recruit some help to take another set of sandwiches to the Jacobi Medical Center this Friday. I already asked Orville, our Christian friend on Boston Road whose restaurant is slow, if we can order our sandwiches from him. And he agreed to pay another friend who lost his job to come in and help him prepare the sandwiches. It’s probably not “trickle-down economy” for those who know the term. Maybe we’ll call it “Living Waterfalls” economy.

Brendan Weaver here at Believers in Jesus Church spearheaded some food distribution and prayer today, and sent an update to us, which I include below:

**Our church provided lunch for the EMS Station nearest us today. We provided food for 35 people including platters of sub sandwiches and a cookie platter from Subway, single-serving chip bags and drinks from Aldi. Suzie is the little Asian lady at Subway that I have worked with over the past two days for the food orders. I had explained our mission to her yesterday and today she seemed delighted to see me and was eager to help figure out exactly how much food would be need. Both days she went the extra mile to give discounts. Today as I was leaving, I bid her farewell with a “God bless.” Her response was, “No, God bless you.”

At the EMS Station it was a bit confusing to find the main entrance so I approach a running ambulance with a crew sitting in the front and explained my reason for being there. They directed me to the front door then they went inside to get help to carry the food. Probably 6 or 8 EMTs and Paramedics came out to help carry in the bags. They were all enthusiastic with their appreciation and thanks including cries of “God is good.” They asked me to come into the station where I met the desk lieutenant and EMT Guzman, who was my contact from yesterday. All were very grateful and appreciative that the church would reach out in this way. The lieutenant said about 50% of their staff is out sick and their call volume is higher than normal, but they are doing okay because they have received mutual aid support in the form of EMTs and paramedics from other states to help staff their ambulances. I spoke with them for a few minutes and then asked if it would be okay if we prayed together. They agreed and the group of 6-8 of us in the room had prayer together asking for God’s protection on them and our city. I explained that many churches are reaching out from across the USA wanting to know how to help and that they please let us know if they could think of any other way beyond food and prayer that we could be of assistance. I also made sure to attach prayer cards from Stan & Sharon to each platter of sandwiches and cookies and also gave them a stack of prayer cards. As I was leaving, they were sending out a message on their radio that the food had arrived. One thing is sure, the gift was appreciated and FDNY EMS Station 20 was blessed today.**

Ecc 11:1 Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days.
1 Cor 3:7 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.

If you can join us, let’s make Friday, April 3rd, a Day of Prayer and Fasting.

Rich***

*****

About a week or two into the realization that there is a serious pandemic on our hands, and it isn’t only media hype, I found the photo (above), added 2 Chronicles 7:14, and made it my Facebook profile pic. At the time I had forgotten that the verses prior talk about God sending a pestilence, followed by this call to repentance. A pestilence is a fatal epidemic disease. It wasn’t until Rich wrote about it that this detail came back to me.

For many months, even years. there have been prophetic voices speaking into this, warning the people of God to repent, to turn back to His ways, or there will be consequences. From worshipping materialism, to holding our own beliefs as ‘salvation’ — or our good name — to disregarding Amos 5, where God makes it clear that He is sick of ‘worship’ when justice and mercy have lost their place, we need to repent and turn our hearts back to Him. If you want to know what is important to God, read Amos 5:

A Lament and Call to Repentance
Hear this word, Israel, this lament I take up concerning you:
“Fallen is Virgin Israel,
never to rise again,
deserted in her own land,
with no one to lift her up.”
This is what the Sovereign Lordsays to Israel:
“Your city that marches out a thousand strong
will have only a hundred left;
your town that marches out a hundred strong
will have only ten left.”
This is what the Lord says to Israel:

“Seek me and live;
    do not seek Bethel (a holy place).
do not go to Gilgal (Joshua 4:20 – an alter),
do not journey to Beersheba (God’s promises, Genesis 26:23–33).
For Gilgal (the alter) will surely go into exile,
and Bethel (the holy place) will be reduced to nothing.[a]
Seek the Lord and live,
or he will sweep through the tribes of Joseph like a fire;
it will devour them,
and Bethel will have no one to quench it.
There are those who turn justice into bitterness
and cast righteousness to the ground
He who made the Pleiades and Orion,
who turns midnight into dawn
and darkens day into night,
who calls for the waters of the sea
and pours them out over the face of the land—
the Lord is his name.
With a blinding flash he destroys the stronghold
and brings the fortified city to ruin.
10 There are those who hate the one who upholds justice in court
and detest the one who tells the truth.
11 You levy a straw tax on the poor
and impose a tax on their grain.
Therefore, though you have built stone mansions,
you will not live in them;
though you have planted lush vineyards,
you will not drink their wine.
12 For I know how many are your offenses
and how great your sins.
There are those who oppress the innocent and take bribes
and deprive the poor of justice in the courts.
13 Therefore the prudent keep quiet in such times,
for the times are evil.
14 Seek good, not evil,
that you may live.
Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you,
just as you say he is.
15 Hate evil, love good;
maintain justice in the courts.
Perhaps the Lord God Almighty will have mercy
on the remnant of Joseph.
16 Therefore this is what the Lord, the Lord God Almighty, says:
“There will be wailing in all the streets
and cries of anguish in every public square.
The farmers will be summoned to weep
and the mourners to wail.
17 There will be wailing in all the vineyards,
for I will pass through your midst,”
says the Lord.
The Day of the Lord
18 Woe to you who long
for the day of the Lord!
Why do you long for the day of the Lord?
That day will be darkness, not light.
19 It will be as though a man fled from a lion
only to meet a bear,
as though he entered his house
and rested his hand on the wall
only to have a snake bite him.
20 Will not the day of the Lord be darkness, not light—
pitch-dark, without a ray of brightness?
21 I hate, I despise your religious festivals;
    your assemblies are a stench to me.
22 Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings,
    I will not accept them.
Though you bring choice fellowship offerings,
I will have no regard for them.
23 Away with the noise of your songs!
I will not listen to the music of your harps.
24 But let justice roll on like a river,
    righteousness like a never-failing stream!
25 “Did you bring me sacrifices and offerings
forty years in the wilderness, people of Israel?
26 You have lifted up the shrine of your king,
the pedestal of your idols,
the star of your god—
which you made for yourselves.
27 Therefore I will send you into exile beyond Damascus (a well-watered land),”
says the Lord, whose name is God Almighty.
    Says the Lord, whose name is the God of hosts.

 

Do I think God is ‘sending’ the current epidemic?  No. Not at all. Disease is the result of our sin and fallenness. And when we cut God out, or turn from Him to idolatry, there are consequences. And idolatry is giving our primary allegiance and focus to anything other than God. It is exalting any other thing to the place reserved for Jesus, for God. Whether a physical idol, a belief system, or any other thing that I hold as part of my salvation or give my love and allegiance, we have a definite problem with idolatry in churches today. And God has stepped back. He has not abandoned us, but He has not prevented the consequences of sin from doing great harm. It is up to us to humble ourselves and cry out to Him.

I have written about it before, and it bears repeating. God calls believers to repent for the healing of the nation. I invite you to join in, Friday April 3, to fast and pray for our nation, to repent of what you need to repent of, and to stand in the gap for all impacted by this terrible devastation.

 

As always,

Love,
~ T ~

© Trudy Metzger 2020