1 Kings 19: 13b-18
13bThen a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 14 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” 15 The Lord said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. 16 Also, anointJehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. 17 Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu.18 Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.”
I live in the Orange County, New York. Geographically, it is a gorgeous area that is home to West Point and contains portions of the Appalachian Mountains. Historically, it is one of the oldest inhabited regions in the nation easily dating back to the days of the French and Indian Wars. Barely 50 miles from Manhattan, the county is largely rural, white, and politically conservative. Besides seeing Trump/Pence bumper stickers, it is also not unusual for me to see pick-up trucks with Confederate flags flying from them. In fact, I used to see one red pick-up with a Confederate and American flying from the back several times a week on the way to work. Given the recent rise of blatant white supremacy, I must confess that seeing that pick up truck with the Confederate flag would often trouble my spirit and make me feel very alone and vulnerable in my predominantly white world.
Yet one day last month while driving to work, I saw that same pick up truck with only the American flying from its back. To this day, I don’t know the driver of the truck or what made him remove his Confederate flag. I’ve never had any conversations with him. Truly, I have not had many conversations regarding my feelings about the Confederate flag. All I know today is that in addition to that one red pick up, I now see fewer Confederate flags or symbols worn with pride. I may never know if people’s hearts and minds have truly changed. What I do know is that, I feel much less alone.
I do not what you may be going through in your own life that makes you feel all alone. I do not know what cave you may be hiding in like the prophet Elijah. Yet, I encourage you to not give and know that you are NOT alone. Like Elijah and myself, you may never meet your allies face to face. Nonetheless, know that God sees you the same way God saw Elijah. Know that there is no person, group, or issue that is too big or complex for God to overcome. Hence let us keep praying, fasting, protesting, dialoguing, fighting, and believing that hatred and evil will not win. God is real. And, God is on the side love and peace.