Mr. President,

In regard to the Coronavirus Task Force, the word you were looking for during your press conference was ‘necessary.’ You “had no idea the Task Force was so necessary,” not ‘popular.’

Now before you begin a tyrannical twitter, let me say I have the highest respect for the Office of President and a deep regard for the person elected therein.

Be that as it may, I do not like you. However, when I go for a walk every day, I pray for you.

I began this ritual when you adamantly decided not to enact the Defense Production Act. To be honest, I was quite angry at your nonchalant arrogance.

Needing to do something with my pent-up frustration, I went for a walk and prayed in my Spirit language for you—English words just would not suffice. Later that evening, I heard that you had changed your mind and were moving forward with its authorization.

After that and since, as much as I do not want to pray for you, that is exactly how much God does want me to. Let me be clear, you are the last person I want to think about and pray for as I enjoy a refreshing walk–but that is not how God rolls.

First Timothy 2:1-2 says: I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.

Today, much to the dismay of my ego, I actually enjoyed my prayer time for you as I took a long stroll.

Therein lies the paradox . . . God holds the most seeming contradictions together–all in His gracious and infinite Love.

Susan Fridinger

Fred R. Barnard is credited with the adage “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

Every historical era seems to have a myriad of iconic images that stir up emotions and feelings regarding particular events both great and small.

One such image that comes to mind is that of the sailor kissing a woman dressed in a nurse’s uniform in Times Square after the end of World War II. Or how about The Napalm Girl, as she is known, crying while running naked–fleeing for safety during the Vietnam War. Then there is the photograph called Flower Power which depicts a young woman “placing a carnation in the barrel of a rifle during a protest of the Vietnam War.”

I could go on and on.

Two such seminal images recently provoked the above letter to the President.

First was that of the male Michiganer—mouth agape with raging anger–literally roaring for his rights in the state capital while the male police officer stands at attention with what appears to be a calm demeanor in the face of the protestor not a foot away. The officer is wearing a face mask while the protestor is not.

What the heck was going on inside their heads, I wonder?

Some call the protestor a patriot; I call him a bully!

The second was that of President Trump seated at the feet of Abraham Lincoln in the memorial during a Town Hall interview. One of the most, if not the most (in my opinion), dishonest Presidents seated directly before Honest Abe?

Really? Holy mackerel!

In response to a friend’s frustration over the government shutdown last year, I wrote a meditation entitled “Radical Love.” In it I expressed the following: “Jesus was not calling into question the governmental system. Jesus was calling into question the religious system with radical love.”

While I still believe that to be a valid point, I now see a more nuanced revelation due to the contrasting perspectives in the aforementioned photos—that of the relational interplay of contradictory viewpoints. Or as Wikipedia defines it:

“In Ancient Chinese philosophy, yin and yang is a concept of dualism, describing how seemingly opposite or contrary forces may actually be complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and how they may give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another.”

I would add spiritual world as well, for ALL is Spirit—the holy choreography of the triune God.

The writer of the book of Ecclesiastes in the Old Testament–chapter three verses one through eight–renders it this way:

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

He continues in verse eleven of the same chapter by saying: “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” We have “eternity” in our heart and yet we live one day at a time—the juxtaposition of the Eternal Now.

As I continue to follow God’s lead in prayer for President Trump, I feel oddly calm in the presence of God’s grace and goodness.