The picture here is of the rededication in 2002 which begs the question,"Why is it being rededicated?". For that we return to the above mentioned group gathered around this flame's original home.
A lady in our group came to us with the story of this monument to man's efforts to make peace for himself which was perched above the river near Broadway Bridge. The bridge name was apt for it is the broad way of man's efforts which leads to destruction. This lady informed us that this was a pagan altar right in our own city and that we needed to pray against this thing. At first I thought this was pretty flaky, but figured that it couldn't hurt. As the morning wore on I became more convinced of the truth of what my sister was saying. We gathered and prayed that God would remove this thing from our community. At that precise moment.......nothing happened, and we got in our cars and went home.
It was two months later on August 11 that the answer came. There was a subsidence on the riverbank that the geotech engineers missed which caused the flame to slowly begin lurching towards the river along with other sections of the surrounding banks. Crews were dispatched to rescue the fallen symbol and the names of those who donated towards its erection which were inscribed on 400 paving bricks. God answered. The real question is, did we listen?
When I excitedly shared this story with my pastor so that he could relay it to the 'troops' for their encouragement the story came over the mike that this may have been an answer to prayer.....YYYyyyyaaaawwnnn.....now back to our regularly scheduled program. I shared the story with my dad hoping to perhaps blow some faith on his incredulous view of God.
His response was,"Yeah, well, you know son they'll just rebuild it somewhere else..blah blah blah.". The fact of the matter is that they did rebuild it somewhere else, and again it begs the question, WHY?
I think most of the answer lies in a testimony I just finished reading in 'Stories from the Front Lines' by Jane Rumph. On pages 210-212 she relates the story of some World Vision workers at the Adama Project in Ethiopia. The people of the village the workers were ministering in had a worship attachment to a certain large riverside tree. The workers recognised that this attachment would make a full turnabout for the people impossible and began to pray against it. Over the course of 6 months the tree withered, died and one morning toppled over completely. The response from the villagers was....this may have been an answer to prayer.....YYYyyyyaaaawwnnn....Yeah, well, you know son they'll just replant it somewhere else..blah blah blah...NO. Their response was emphatically
Your God has done this! Your God has dried up the tree! It's because of the power of your prayers!
Hmmmm, you think this is why this village in Ethiopia experienced a transformation an we are still yawning our way through life wondering why our nation remains unimpacted for Christ. We really don't expect much else, do we??