The violence along the US/Mexico border continues to make headlines. Last week the El Paso Times reported the head of a man was found on a pillow nestled on one of the bloody streets of Juarez. Rival gangs often decapitate victims to send a less than subtle message about their control of the streets and to strike fear in the hearts of the people. Terrorism thrives on fear.
As I was reading through the book of Genesis I was reminded how bloodshed and violence go back to the beginning of time. The first two brothers who walked the face of the earth found themselves in a bloody struggle. Before the situation escalated to violence the Lord God sought out Cain and said:
“Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” (Genesis 4:6-7)
As I reflected on this story, I was inspired to focus my prayers toward border violence in a new way. I was convicted to pray for those who are plotting violence against another whether they are cartel assassins or family members seeking revenge and retaliation. My prayer is that in that “moment of decision” when “sin is crouching at the door” that they will come to their senses and choose to do the right thing and to spare the lives of their intended victims.
Just as God came to Cain at that fateful moment before he attacked his brother–I believe God still seeks to intervene. He does not want our lives to be controlled and victimized by the deadly grip of sin lurking just outside the door.
The unspeakable violence found on the bloody streets find their origin in the hearts of men and women who open their lives to the dark power of sin. Clearly we need a powerful spiritual answer to this continuing threat to our community.
Pray for that moment of decision. Pray that the young man with the gun will simply drive by without shooting. That the cartel leader will make the call and cancel the hit. Pray that the young woman sent to kill will be moved with compassion and not shed innocent blood.
From the beginning of time sin has been crouching at our doors. It is high time for us to do right and to rule over the sin within our hearts.