Has our nation lost its soul?

Religious volunteers are arrested because they offered water and food to new immigrants.

Our police officers are shot at by terrorists who out-gun them with their AK-47s and the “rights” of the terrorists are protected more than the lives of the police officers or the citizens they try to protect.

Our government goes to court to argue that it has no responsibility to provide soap or toothpaste to children that it has detained.

Our government cuts food stamps to poor families after lowering taxes on the rich.

Has our nation lost its soul?

A 90-year-old woman in Georgia who fell sick and became home-bound received a letter from the church she had attended all her life and was told she could no longer worship there because she had stopped tithing. Instead of sending a pastor to check on her to see if she needed help, she was kicked off the church roster. Has the church lost its soul?

A society that cannot answer the question, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” has lost its soul. We spend our time accusing our opponents and finding fault in the other side. We feel self-righteous by saying, “Hooray for our side” while casting dispersions on those who see the world through different lenses.

A nation that has drifted off course needs to find a compass and map out a fresh navigation route.

It reminds me of when the prophet Isaiah spoke to Israel during a time of national crisis; he expressed shock that they had lost their way.  Isaiah communicated outrage that they oppressed the workers; they turned back justice; they failed to share their bread with the hungry or have compassion for the homeless poor. They failed to satisfy the needs of the afflicted. “They do not know the way of peace, and there is no justice in their paths.” (Isaiah 59:8)   Isaiah described their condition, saying, “We grope like the blind along a wall, groping like those who have no eyes…” (Isaiah 59:10)  The prophet observed that “Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands at a distance; for truth stumbles in the public square and uprightness cannot enter. Truth is lacking, and whoever turns from evil is despoiled.” (Isaiah 59:14)

The complaints and accusations of Isaiah seem to ring true today. Where is the compassion for the afflicted? Where is justice for victims? Why persecute those who welcome the stranger?

Could it be that our institutions are callous because our people are indifferent? Have our hearts so hardened that we block out the cries of the afflicted? Have we as a nation lost our way? Have we as a people lost our soul?