"Stand your ground,"
the women of faith called out
"Stand and pray!"
For you see,
The time of great trial is upon us
And we cannot fight alone

There are children without mothers
Mothers without their children
The old are dying
The young leaving
And the old songs are all we have left

I once felt the summer breeze
Across this land
And tasted of the Lord's goodness
I felt His Hand reached out to deliver
And heard His Voice hearty with promises
But that was time and a half ago
That was when I was eager to share the Truth
When the sting of despair and rejection
did not pierce my shield
But this day, I realize
That even with great hardship
The Truth is not welcome
Sickness, death, loss has not changed their hearts
They are still united in defense of their ways
And I, alone, forbidden entrance
to their fellowship, family, community

But it was not meant to be that way
God had great plans for that city
He spoke them to me often
And would call me to come
And pray over the land
I obeyed every time
I walked and prayed outside the building,
but was not allowed inside
For the message I spoke of repentance
was abhorrent to these people
They preferred to live a life of grace
Not knowing that they were separated
from God due to their sins and rebellion to Truth

They sing this day with all their hearts
They want relief from the turmoil, sickness, death
But it will not come without repentance

What would cause these people
to hear the Truth
and no longer scorn the Message
and the messenger?

I do not know

They believe that they are suffering for God
when they are truly suffering
for their unconfessed sins and hard hearts

Truly God will have mercy
as He sees them gathered night after night
praying, singing praises, seeking Him
Surely, God will answer their pleas
Surely, there must be a way to reach them

And yet, the movie, "Silence"
told the story of the Catholic Church
sending priests to Japan
To deliver a wayward nation,
a nation which hated the Lord Jesus Christ
so much that all who confessed His Name were tortured

Christianity refused to take root in the land
Christianity, in all forms was forbidden
Christianity forced the death of many

Is there a cure for the human heart
that refuses to hear the Truth?
That apostatizes?
That teaches a different Gospel?
Is there?

The Catholic Church believed
there was a way to God's Heart
despite renouncing Him
The Catholic Church allowed mere men
to forgive sins for all eternity
whether the heart was truly repentant or not
The Catholic Church spread its religion
where Christianity should have raised true believers

Is the local church any different?
They allow blasphemers, unrepentant people
to lead, to mentor, to teach,
to propose to make converts
And these people are twice the sons of Hell
as their teachers
And they wonder
Why is God silent to our cries?
Why won't He make us well?
Why does He allow such torture of our souls?
When will He come?
After our next fast?
After we pray some more?
After we sing our anthems?
How can we move the Heart of God to help us?

Psalm 51

And you burdened the prophet with your hatred and scorn
You tested God over and over by refusing the Truth He sent
You rebelled against the very Heart of the Gospel

and there remains