An earthquake in Washington, DC? That was my first incredulous thought on opening the Drudge Report yesterday and seeing the headline. Whoa, that is weird!
To make things even weirder, there was one in Colorado on the same day, a 5.3 tremblor centered in Trinidad, near the state’s southern border. Coming on top of all the tornadoes, droughts, wildfires, snowstorms, floods and now hurricanes… I couldn’t help but think of Jesus’s warnings of great earthquakes and famines just before He comes back. (Matt 24:7,8) It seems obvious that God is trying to get people’s attention with all these weather events. Of all the things people are struggling to deal with now, weather is the one most obviously out of our hands.
I think I mentioned when writing about the tornadoes that a number of people remarked how since tornadoes rarely went through cities, everyone thought that somehow the presence of a city warded them off. After Joplin and Tuscaloosa, that notion has been retired, and the reason cities are being hit now is because there are more of them. I just think the only reason more tornadoes haven’t hit cities in the past is because God didn’t allow them to.
I was still in that line of thinking today when I learned that in the recent DC Earthquake both the Washington Monument and the Washington National Cathedral were closed indefinitely because of damages suffered from the EQ. The Washington Monument was found to have a 4″ crack in the top of its pyramidion, and the National Cathedral sustained millions of dollars of damage including numerous cracks in its limestone blocks as well as the loss of several of its pinnacles.
It struck me as significant that the two structures found to have enough damage from the quake to warrant closure to visitors were major and well-known icons of our country.
The Washington Monument, begun in 1848 and finished after the Civil War in 1884, is the tallest obelisk in the world, and was built to honor our first president, George Washington. (Interesting that perhaps our last real/full term president is George W. Bush… ). According to Wikipedia, “As the unanimous choice to serve as the first President of the United States, [Washington] built a strong and financially secure nation that earned the respect of the world.”
Now that monument has a small crack in it, just as our great nation is suffering cracks in its strength, its financial security and its position of being respected by the rest of the world.
The Washington National Cathedral has been designated by Congress as our “National House of Prayer” and serves as an icon for our nation’s religious life which has been for most of our history, predominantly Christian. It too has cracks and damage to its first floor and, as mentioned, its pinnacles — cracks and falling pinnacles that serve as an illustration of the inexorable crumbling of our allegiance to Christianity, not so much as a nation, but as a people. Fewer and fewer attend church, more and more adhere to eastern religions, or none at all, and our laws and culture are growing increasingly hostile toward our faith.
From there I thought back to the Twin Towers, symbols of America’s economic strength — turned to rubble, with a mosque planned to be built atop the remains.
The Pentagon — split open when one of the hijacked airliners flew into it. The heart of our military strength, pierced by a handful of ignorant, hate-filled men armed with box cutters. Yes, it’s repaired now, but who would have thought such a thing could ever even happen? Of all places, wouldn’t the Pentagon be most impregnable? Apparently not.
Taken together, it all makes for an interesting picture. One I don’t think is coincidence, given the times in which we live.
“See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity; in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments that you may live and multiply, and that the LORD your God may bless you in the land…
But if your heart turns away and you will not obey, but are drawn away and worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you today that you shall surely perish. You shall not prolong your days in the land…
…I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendents… ” ~ Deuteronomy 30:15-19