Many of you have been emailing about my recent work in Washington D.C., and I thought I’d just take a few paragraphs to explain what’s going on. Instead of Trying to infer or deduce from my Instagram feed, I thought it might be good just to let you know what’s going on here on the blog.
What’s going on…
For the last year, I’ve been traveling to Washington D.C. on average two weeks a month (Tues. – Thurs.) to meet with leaders, and learn what the needs of our Congressmen and Congresswomen are, in hopes that we can help make end roads in their lawmaking. We meet to talk about how we can pray for their families, their work, and their presence on the hill.
As Os Guiness Points out in his book A Free People’s Suicide, we are trying to re-engage with the Golden Triangle of Democracy: Freedom, Virtue, and Faith. It’s an interesting idea to think that our founders understood that without all three legs of the triangle, there would be difficulty in “keeping it” (Democracy) in tact.
I was in a meeting last Wednesday with a good friend on Capitol Hill, and we were talking about the obvious relational opportunities in D.C. The simple facts are:
- Although the perception is Congress is unable to govern well (voiced by constituents and members) the work load is immense. Most members of Congress travel to Washington from their home districts each week, working 12-15 hour days trying to pay attention to all the work it takes to govern a country like America.
- This leads to an obvious void of friendship. Many of our leaders are living in a vacuum of power. They have enormous responsibility which attracts people who are always looking for something in return. Many of our congressmen have been trained to just ask quickly, “What can I do for you?” without having anyone in their lives pouring into them as people.
- They leave Washington to return to their home districts where they engage in constituent work, see their families for a few hours, and then back on the plane again to do it all over again.
As you can probably imagine, it’s a pretty lonely life.
In our culture there’s this over-riding message that if your the leader, you have everything together. You don’t need friends. You don’t have time for friends. You just put your head down and get the job done. And many type-A people can function that way for a while. But if we’re honest with ourselves, we all need some kind of constant community that we can count on. We need friends who are around to advise, to encourage, to support, and to lift up. Otherwise, when one of our fundamental needs as humans is left void, we leave ourselves open to temptation and the ills of human nature.
Last Wednesday, I was walking back to the apartment I was staying in, and I just stopped abruptly on the side of the road. I felt a unique presence in my spirit, and in a moment of unique calm I sensed a feeling “This is where you’re supposed to be.”
Now I’ve never heard God talk out of the clouds.
I’ve never felt like God audibly directs me.
But in a moment, like very few in my life, I can say with certainty, this work on Capitol Hill is important.
We are spreading the seed of friendship in a culture that doesn’t value friends. (At least friends that aren’t interested in hand outs)
We are helping to bring a spiritual component to our leaders in Washington D.C. by inviting them into a conversation about Jesus.
And we are lifting up our nation in prayer.
So when you see my posting pictures of the Capitol or of the Congressional Office Buildings, just know there are people walking through the hallways of Congress praying for America. We’re trying to help our leaders feel a sense of whole – ness as they undertake some of the most divisive issues in the world. And we invite you to pray as well.
We can’t expect our nation to turn and uphold moral values if we’re not engaging in the process.
For this time…I sense a calling. I sense a place in the world where the gifts God gave me are being used, developed, and prepared to make a small difference in the world.
I’ll be home for the next few months, as Congress recesses, but am looking forward to re-enaging with my new friends soon.
So for all who are asking:
Thanks for your prayers.
Thanks for your thoughts.
Thanks for your encouraging e-mails.
There are good things going on in our nation’s capitol.
Sometimes they’re just happening under the radar.