My husband and I have been really troubled about this whole coronavirus situation from the start—from the Sacred Belief that what the High Priests in White Coats say is a Word from God (seriously, that's how most of us view anything a scientist or doctor says, like it's infallible!), to the suspension of the Constitution (which is the suspension of the rule of Law)... from America's pastors apparently believing that gathering to beg God to help us in this crisis is less helpful than telling their congregations they should isolate themselves, to millions of Americans being forbidden to work...
More than anything, we keep asking ourselves, What can we do???
We have kept abreast of the news, read the orders coming down from our governor and other authorities, even read our federal and state constitutions. We have advocated for right and helped to spread truth on social media, graciously.
We went to our state capitol and joined a paltry 200 people protesting our governor's tyrannical suspension of our Constitutional rights, in blatant defiance of both our federal and state constitutions. It was very discouraging to see so few, out of all the people who say the governor's orders are wrong, willing to take this little action to let him know we want the state reopened.
When the mayor of the largest city in our local area finally got his chance at glory—there was an outbreak at a nursing home in his city last Sunday—and announced on facebook that he intended to require the wearing of face masks, I engaged with him on facebook to beg him to do right, and answered the objections of the crowd (apparently funded by George Soros!) from thousands of miles away, arguing against the data and reliable information I shared.
But my husband and I were longing to do something more meaningful, and we begged God to give us wisdom to know what we could do, since we are not in positions of authority or influence.
We decided to try to organize a Prayer Time and Protest in front of our local County Courthouse. (In our state, the guy in charge of your whole county is the County Judge, and he governs with the County Commission.) My husband invited a half-dozen men, asking them if they would join us in bringing their families to come and demonstrate to our county commissioners and county judge that we want our Constitutional freedoms restored; but more than that, we wanted to cry out to God, who is more powerful than these men on earth, repent of our sins, and beg Him to help us in this crisis. So, a Prayer Time & Protest.
Then, the day before our Prayer Time & Protest, my husband and I had to spend the day driving to the big city and back for a medical procedure; and the night before our trip we thought of the book, The Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrates. We decided to take it with us, so I could read it aloud for both of us while he drove. It's such a short little book, we were able to read the whole thing during the drive.
I'd heard an interview with the author a few years ago, and the book had been sitting on our shelf for all that time; but those short 3-4 hours were transformative for us. I believe that reading that book, at just that moment, was an answer to our prayers for wisdom about what we could do.
I won't get into the Doctrine itself, but suffice it to say that this Doctrine goes all the way back through the Bible and Christian history, and was written out as a Christian doctrine during the Reformation in the 1500s. The Founding Fathers of America were acting on this Doctrine when they declared independence from Great Britain. And it is very relevant to the issues we're facing today.
After we finished reading, and talked through what we'd learned, we decided that before our Prayer Time & Protest would begin, we would arrive early and to try to speak with our county judge privately first. We would give him our copy of The Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrates; tell him that we are asking him to make our county a free county, as Hartford, Wisconsin Mayor Tim Michalak and Snohomish, Washington County Sheriff Adam Fortney were doing for the citizens in their jurisdictions; and explain that our little gathering would be outside for the lunch hour—not shouting, not chanting, not being rowdy, and yes, obeying his order to maintain 6 foot distance between family groups—but we would be outside praying, not in our homes, but in front of his office, in hopes that he would see and understand that we are deeply disturbed about the suspension of our Constitutional freedoms.
You don't want to hear all of the details, but in the end, we had to winsomely explain these things to a few different "gatekeepers", and all but one county employee was working from home, so some of these conversations were over the phone. But in the end, our county judge called my husband during our prayer time and spoke with him for half an hour, and set up an appointment for us to meet with him in person on Monday morning (today). Sadly, my husband was the only man who showed up to our prayer time, and only one other family joined us at all, plus a grandmother in each of our two families and another lady that the other family had invited... One man, five women, and 11 children. But we met. And we prayed. And our county judge listened.
This morning, my husband and I met with our county judge, gave him our book, and advocated for a restoration of the rule of law. And it was clear to both of us, throughout our conversation with him, that we told him several things he had never heard before.
Will he roll back all of these orders, and make our county a free county again, today? I doubt it. But he just heard concerns about our Constitutional rights that, if we hadn't met with him, he still would not have heard from a single constituent. And I think he will think about these things some more. These are things he would never have considered if we hadn't gotten off facebook, taken time off from work, gathered all of our courage, gone way outside of our comfort zone, and approached him directly.
What would happen if every citizen of our little county who is concerned about a declaration of disaster being an excuse to suspend the Constitution also came and respectfully expressed their concerns to him? Even if only ten people thought it was important enough to meet with him and tell him, face to face, that we need him to restore the rule of law in our county?
Each of us has something different we can do. But my husband and I came home today completely amazed, that we had prayed about what we could do, and we thought of one step at a time, and ended up making a real difference! Each step along the way, we were nervous and scared, but took courage and did it. (And The Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrates book really helped us think about the right thing to do, and helped us have the courage to do it!)
If every one of us who is spending countless hours on social media trying to fight this fight (and there's value there!) thought about taking face-to-face action outside of our homes, the tyrannical impulses coming from our governors would be severely dampened!! How much more effective is it to talk to someone who can actually do something than to keep arguing with our buddies on facebook who just listen to CNN?
I didn't write this to create a burden for anyone, but to give ideas that you might find helpful. Let's keep asking, What can I do??? It may be that we can make a real difference!