I’m pretty sure this prayer is not theologically correct but knowing you have never been afraid of misguided, but honest seekers, I am daring this prayer. Please, God, I want a Bat-phone. Yes, you heard right…a Bat-Phone.
You see, as a pastor, I am privileged to be the point person for many people at the end of their rope. And after listening to their stories, I often have mixed reactions. On one hand, I am moved with compassion by their plight. And I am ashamed to say that sometimes, I just want to give people beatings. I know this prayer just took a bad turn but I shall continue. So many people crawl into my church whipped and wounded by the selfishness of others. I am seeing an exponential increase in the stories of abuse, neglect, and devaluing of the image of God in people.
There were times, Lord, when you just had to break out the whip and start turning over tables. I bet that felt good. Your sense of justice rose up and you took care of business. Sometimes I feel that if each church could call Batman, things would be better. Batman doesn’t ever intend to permanently harm people, but he’s really good at delivering those necessary “lessons.” If I had a Bat-phone, I promise not to misuse it. But consider these scenarios…
Scenario 1. A poor, disheveled young lady walks into my church asking for the pastor. “Will you please help me?” “How can I help?” I answer. “I just got back from the hospital where I just took a pregnancy test. And I will not make it home, can you give me gas money?” she pleads. “Please come in and sit and tell me your story.” I offer her a seat. She explains, “I’m with this guy and I’m pregnant with his baby and I need gas to get home. Please pastor, I have no-one.” My response, “You have the father of this baby.” “He won’t help me, and he has a real anger problem.” comes her reply. “Why do you stay with him?” Her answer, “I love him.” “Uhhh, wait here.” On my new phone, “Batman, yes, I have an assignment….”
Scenario 2. I receive a late-night call from a distraught mother looking for a place to house her children. Her husband is going off the charts drunk, angry, and she fears for their safety. We go to secret meeting spot to collect the children. On the way, I call Batman.
Scenario 3. I receive a call from a distraught parent whose daughter has snuck out to rendezvous with a man nearly twice her age. My call, “Batman, stay home, I’d like to take care of this one myself.”
God, I have noticed a tragic shift in society. We have devalued our children and left them unprotected. All the while, our society has fed a dangerous predatory instinct into a generation of males that synergizes with a sense of entitlement. Their masculine energy is spent destructively, instead of constructively. Somewhere along the way we have failed to teach them that our girls deserve respect, honor, and protection. Equally, we have failed to teach our girls to that they deserve respect, and they are worthy of dignity, honor and protection from these same men. We seem to be reaping a whirlwind.
Lord, remember when a young lady walked into my office distraught that a married man at her work was constantly making sexual advances toward her? I sent a signed postcard to his work-place that read, “Larry, if you don’t stop making sexual advances towards ________, I’m going to tell your wife.” It stopped.
Dear God, please send us a generation of protectors. Men who know you and love you. Men who are known by what they stand for in public and stand against in private. Men who will channel their masculine power to push back the darkness of our day and live out the truth in love. And give us a generation of men who will hold each other accountable, and if needed, to deliver a few healthy, constructive, loving, table-turning lessons to the boys of this generation.
A fed up pastor