While we always watch for major things to occur in the way
of disturbances in nature (for example, storms and quakes), sometimes seismic events arrive not from the ground but from the people on
it: within the societies of men, and especially in the realm, these days, of
politics (into which we do not choose to venture).
There is Republican front-runner Donald Trump: not in recent memory
has politics taken on such magnetism (and mesmerism) -- spiritually as well as politically,
economic and otherwise. Nor has there been an election as galvanizing since the 1960s
So unusual is what currently transpires (some roar their approval, others are afraid and have actually sought
counseling) that it is all but impossible to guess what this or that person
feels about him -- whatever their political leanings, no matter affiliation.
There are "seismic faults" -- fissures, clefts,
and sinkholes -- across the societal landscape, perhaps soon to become a
tectonic shift. It is of spiritual import.
The division and confusion are rampant,
especially the division: among Republicans, conservatives, "tea-party" types,
moderates, Catholics, evangelicals, and even Democrats. The earth cracks around us. This
-- a shaking up -- can be for good or it can be cataclysmic.
The certainty: something is developing here that could become
momentous. The whole world watches, with people in many nations feeling just as
those supporting Trump do -- forgotten, marginalized -- and so it has the
interesting capability of gaining more
momentum. It will either fizzle out (too many already have been wrong predicting
this) or rattle not just America but the entire, wired world.
"The reason why his message has struck such a chord with a large swath of the
electorate is deep-seated frustration with the current political system,"
notes a newspaper,
The Globalist. "What's more, fear about the risks of international
trade, globalization and an increasingly stratified society are not unique to
the United States. Thus, the Trump phenomenon could easily go global."
In many circles there is excitement -- glee --
while in others there is panic. Screams a headline in the
Sydney Daily Telegraphthis week (3/17/16): "President Donald Trump would be a disaster for
Australia, analysts warn."
That's one side of it.
On the other, a bit lower key, are even evangelical pastors who
defend him. There will be great upset if he is stopped and if he is not
To stay on the spiritual side of
it: The extreme of reactions to this particular candidate
are astounding. Some see him as saving the West from a New World Order while
others see him as sort of an anti-christ, the potential leader of a one-world dictatorship.
Some worry even about a delegate count, flashing across television, of "666"
the other night, during the Tuesday primaries. (We tend to give the benefit to the doubt: doesn't everyone
who reaches a certain point have to at one point tally that number?).
We report. You discern. Of course, other
presidents have been likewise labeled as possible personages of evil. Many
believe President Obama is an anti-christ; others pointed to the Bushes,
reminding us of the elder Bush's curiously loud use of the term "new world order"; there
was Bill Clinton, who besides personal indiscretions (to be polite), was once pictured on TIME
Magazine with the two peaks of the "M" looking like horns on his head; and Ronald Reagan,
whose full name, when counted letter by letter (Ronald Wilson Reagan), tallied
It is a matter, as we see, of interpretation.
A typical type "message" that comes across our e-mails: "Given the imminent arrival of the impostor, I alert each of you so that the
yearning for My House will lead you to remain conscious and alert in order not
to be deceived. The impostor arrives to usurp what is
Mine, and you are called to be responsible regarding your personal acts and
works without allowing confusion to stop you, without allowing anguish to sway
you. This is called faith."
But -- may we ask -- who is the "impostor"? And: might not an anti-christ
come quietly (after chastisements, caused by current decisions, and
upheaval)? Is it
not possible that we are only seeing the beginning , the first rising of a
There is the glimmering,
the scent, of upheaval
at many levels. A "revolt" can be a sign of the times the same as
can be a large quake along the San Andreas (or the Cascadian, or
beneath areas like New York and the Mississippi).
In recent years, tremors have even damaged the Washington Monument (while 9/11
caused cracks in the Federal Building, where George Washington was inaugurated;
Hurricane Sandy shut down the State of Liberty for a year).
It storms out there. It rocks. Cracks, breaches, sinkholes.
Everyone seems agitated. Times
they are changing, as a folk singer sang back in the 1960s -- that other decade with an appetite for uprising.
Potentially, a revolution (albeit a mostly non-violent one, for the moment) germinates in these United States. Revolutions can be good -- see 1776 -- or bad (see
Russia circa 1917).
Much good can come from a shakedown, depending on who is in charge.
There are quakes and also lightning:
bolt from the sky struck the Vatican (twice) on February 11, 2013, the day Benedict XVI
announced his resignation, and as lightning blipped out the microphones another
Republican candidate, Rudy Giuliani, was using in a previous Republican primary
(just as he was criticizing a bishop for a pro-life stand), so now, on the very
night, at the very time, that polls close in the Illinois primary on March 15,
2016, does a bolt of
lightning strike Trump Tower in Chicago [see
What, if anything, do such lightning strikes mean?
(The owner of the skyscraper, prone as skyscrapers are to
lightning, won.) Does it mean major coming shifts -- change?
This is all interesting stuff upon which to cogitate, although intellection
brings few -- perhaps no -- answers. Such comes only in the spirit.
Upheaval watch indeed! No telling how long or
where it all goes.
A blogger notes: "It is clear that lightning is part of God's vocabulary. He looks
like lightning, He causes lightning, and He hurls lightning. He uses it to
vanquish enemies, to inspire awe, and to announce His coming." Of course,
perhaps as "prince of the power of the air," Satan also hurls lightning; he fell
as a bolt of it.
Signs and more: they will come with greater frequency, now.
What we can say is that we humans all can radiate light or darkness
(either of which can generate charisma).
We can also know this: all of us are called to be signs of God's Love. We are all
signs. A focus on that is more important than the latest tweet, blog, Facebook
post, or report on cable news.
In special times, at a time of blindness,
just hold up the Light. That's all. Just hold up the Light in the darkness.