There is a light at the end of the tunnel
There is hope on the horizon
There are people who pray,
people who give, people who love
There is a God who cares

Remember these words
as the darkness comes
You will only think of that
It will blind you to hope

But in that moment
when despair takes hold
and clouds your mind
remember that the Shepherd
has come to find His lost lambs

He will be there when the fear
beckons you to surrender
He will be there when the pain
drives you to . . .

I heard a piano in the distance
as the wind rushed by me
I felt as if I was in another world
but I don't remember leaving my own

I heard footsteps of hundreds
but it sounded as a beast altogether
What is happening?
We were prospering
We were independent, brilliant, secure,
safe, safe, safe

"The government's been sold!"
I heard the people murmur
but I knew it couldn't be true
This country was founded on the Constitution,
unwavering, faithful, tried and true

But then again, I heard the marching
and knew that I was in urgent need of knowledge

Three days passed
The piano music, an anthem actually, stopped
I bent my knee
bowed my head
remembered my grandfather
who prayed to a God
he said was faithful
and I wept aloud
without consolation

I moved toward the church
but found the windows broken and the door open
Scraps of wood filled the entry way
and I could hear children crying
What could I do?
I am just one person . . .

I left quickly hoping to find
a friendly face, a room or place to sleep
Rioting had closed the roads
The stores were set ablaze
Even the bridges to leave the city
were forbidden entrance
There was no way to leave
but by foot and so I walked

Phones no longer worked
except for surveillance
there was no way to reach anyone I knew
In my wildest imagination
I could not determine how this came about

We were as slaves in our own land
and all that we owned was plundered
"Tell me the meaning of all this!"
I told myself over and over
hoping someone would answer my thoughts
but no answer came
day after day

We were now under Marshall Law
and held captive by our government
which now seemed more than foreign

Supplies will not come in time
and I know that many will die
But what can I do?
I am just one person
I will look after myself and hope for the best

If only I can hear the sound of music again
I will believe that someday all will be well
but the music, all music has stopped
as if it is forbidden under the new laws

How can this be?

One hundred soldiers walk by me today
and not one face did I recognize
Where did these people come from
and where were they trained?
When were they trained?

Guns were removed first
so that there would be no counter movement
Weapons, all weapons were forbidden

"Tell me the story," I should have said
to my grandfather years ago
but I was swollen with pride
and unwilling to recognize greatness
when I was in its midst

"Stop talking!" I said instead
Even at the age of twenty
I had no time to listen to fairy tales,
mythology, or worse, the Bible

And yet, this day . . .
I need Truth and it is no longer available

"Peace! Peace! Peace!"
I heard them cry from the hollowed walls of their homes
"Peace, NOT war!" but it was too late
Peace would not come again
Not the kind of peace we knew before

Brutality, cruelty, senseless killings
were seen everywhere
to put fear in our hearts
It was working!
Sometimes I feared to take another breath
for the horror I would see and experience

Waves of clouds came in one hot summer day
and for some reason, I felt a strange sense of hope
Not a kind word was spoken to me
I saw the same cruelty in the streets
and still could not find enough to eat

Why hope?
Why would I feel hope?
It was almost a cruel longing
that could not be fulfilled

In what form would this hope be realized
if it was at all, at this late date, possible?
Money would mean nothing
Food would only last a moment
Government rule?
They will not stop now
They have taken full control

Will hope ever make a difference?
And still . . . I felt hope
as I rested my head against a tree
and slept the night away

I awoke suddenly to the sound
of a clear, crisp bell . . .

You tell me ---
Beginning of a novel
or set reality U.S.A.?
Time will tell
but by the time the story begins
the end will be known
by those who read these words

Can this scenario be prevented?
Not anymore
But, remember, there is still
a glimmer of hope that remains
What would be the source of this hope?

“For to us a Child is born,
    to us a Son is given,
    and the government will be on His shoulders.
And He will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace
Of the greatness of His government and peace
    there will be no end.”
Isaiah 9