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Bishop Robinson prayed for tears, anger, discomfort

Bishop Robinson prayed for tears, anger, discomfort
His prayers were answered

By Mary Ann Mueller
January 7, 2021

On January 18, 2009 Episcopal Bishop Vicky Gene Robinson (IX New Hampshire) was invited by then President-elect Barack Obama to give an invocation at a pre-inaugural event held the Sunday before the inauguration.

At the time the Episcopal bishop prayed for "tears" ... "anger" ... "discomfort."

"Oh god of our many understandings," Bishop Robinson prayed, "We pray that you will bless us with tears ... We pray that you will bless us with anger ... We pray that you will bless us with discomfort ..."

It took 12 years for the Bishop's prayer to be answered, but on Epiphany Day, January 6, 2021, his prayer was answered in a truly unimaginable fashion.

Tears flowed, bullets flew, and blood seeped onto the floor of the Capitol building. Rioters, protesters, insurrectionists - egged on by a lame-duck president grabbing at straws to remain in the White House and retain his power - were angry. That anger was pliable, it was visible, it was loud, and it was frightening as it played out on live television.

The nation, even the world, was riveted by unfolding events which usually frequently occur in other parts of the world - violence and anarchy and governmental overthrow - but not at the very heart of American democracy and seat federal government. The very halls of the United States Congress were under siege.

Senators and Congressional Representatives dove under their desks and hugged the floor wondering if their own blood would be shed soaking the carpet beneath them. They were clearly uncomfortable as they feared for their very lives while the Capitol police were overrun and overwhelmed by the onslaught of unruly Trump supporters swarming the Capitol building seeking them.

Congressional debate was halted in mid-sentence as Vice President Mike Pence and Senators and Congressman and Congresswomen were quickly spirited away and sent into secured hiding places to wait, and surely pray, as the violence unfolded around them. Other lawmakers had to hunker down in place. Hoping that order would be restored sooner rather than later. It was an uncomfortable moment in time and in our nation's history.

The last time the Capitol building was successfully invaded was on August 24, 1814, during the War of 1812, when British troops flooded the federal city and burned not only the partially built Capitol and the White House but several other governmental and military structures as well. Then on September 11, 2001 the Pentagon was assaulted and badly damaged by a Al Qaeda when a Boeing 757 airliner was deliberately flown into it during the coordinated 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The old adage goes: "Be careful what you pray for you just might get it." Bishop Robinson prayed for tears. There were tears. Bishop Robinson prayed for anger. There was anger. Bishop Robinson prayed for discomfort. There was discomfort. Bishop Robinson got everything he prayed. That prayer came to fruition 12 years later.

It took 12 years with two presidents - one black, one white; one Democrat, one Republican - and three presidential terms of office for that level of anger, that level of discomfort, that amount of tears to be developed and boil over in such a spectacular fashion.

There has been a paradigm shift in this country politically, religiously, culturally and socially due to the simple fact that God is being sidelined. As a result we get chaos at the Capitol rather than the celebration of the Three Wisemen's manifestation of the Christ Child to the world.

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