So many of my friends and people I know sit day after day in front of their TV’s and literally absorb the words and ideas of Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Chris Hayes, Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O’Donnell, Morning Joe and Fox and Friends.
I pray every day that the Holy Spirit will touch the minds and hearts of my friends and the people I know in the same overpowering way that the Holy Spirit did 30 years ago on August 20, 1991.
James Billington, was the 13th Librarian of Congress, appointed to that position by President Ronald Reagan in 1987. Billington had long been a student of Russian history. He happened to be in Moscow in August of 1991. It was a tense and dangerous time, with the old Soviet regime giving way to a new social order.
Boris Yeltzin and a small group of defenders occupied the Russian White House and successfully managed to face off an enormous number of tanks and troops poised to attack, and to restore the old guard in the Soviet Union.
Surprisingly, a key role in this successful resistance was played, said Billington, by the babushkas, the “old women in the Church.” These babushka-wearing old grandmothers, who had kept the Orthodox Church alive for years during the long Soviet regime, had been the butt of jokes by both Russians and Westerners alike for decades.
Nothing could have seemed more pathetic and irrelevant than they, hunched over and wrapped in their babushkas and woolen shawls. They were widely regarded as living proof of the eventual death of religion in the Soviet Union.
Yet on that critical night of August 20, 1991, when martial law was proclaimed and people were commanded to go to their homes, many of these babushka women disobeyed and went instead to the place of confrontation.
Some of them fed the resisters in a public display of support. Others staffed medical stations, others prayed for a miracle, while still others, astoundingly, crippled with arthritis, climbed up onto the tanks, peered through the slits at the crew-cut men inside, and told them there were new orders for them to follow, orders from God: “Thou shall not kill!”
The young men stopped the tanks. “The attack,” said James Billington, “never came.”
I have asked myself countless times, where were the old grandmothers with babushkas on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC? Were they all home watching FOX and MSNBC? Will any old grandmothers with babushkas and grandfathers with suspenders show up in force the next time they are needed to quell an insurrection in the United States?
You don’t have to be extraordinarily gifted to help determine the history of a nation or even the world. There’s no better evidence of that than is found in the Bible. Few of the heroes of the Bible, particularly the Old Testament, are heroic at all. Most of them did some really stupid things.
But God still used them, just as God wants to use you and me. You don’t have to be someone special to change the world and build the Kingdom of God on earth. But you do have to shut off MSNBC and FOX and let the Holy Spirit transform your mind and heart. Just put on your babushkas and your suspenders like the grandmothers and grandfathers did in Russia 30 years ago and let the Holy Spirit guide you!!
Thanks to King Duncan for some of these thoughts.
Put on a babushka or a pair of suspenders and take a look in the mirror. What is the Lord saying to YOU as YOU look at YOURSELF?
DON’T ASK GOD TO GUIDE YOUR STEPS IF YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO TAKE A WALK!