Tuesday, January 20, 2009

History In The Making

As I was reflecting on this day in history, the inauguration of Barack Obama, I felt led to document it somehow on this blog. I know I will tell my children of this someday, how when they were only one, the first African-American president was elected. And although I know there will be policy decisions that go against what I believe, I am still proud of this country and proud to be living in a country where things like this are possible. My good friend JMom composed a beautiful letter to the president that is much more eloquent than anything I could have written. Below is a copy of her letter.

Dear President Obama,

Today is truly a landmark day. It feels trite to even write about it because the press coverage has inundated us with reminders of what a shift this marks in the turbulent race relations this country has experienced throughout our history. I am proud of the advances we have made.

I did not vote for you, but I believe in a Sovereign Lord who appoints leaders. I will respect your position and your office. I do not hold ill will towards you, but instead I pray for you.

I pray that you will submit to the authority of The One who put you in office in the first place. There will be constant public opinion polls, water cooler chatter and talking heads espousing their views of your performance. I pray that the approval you seek will be from God alone.

I pray that you will remember the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr and Abraham Lincoln, the two leaders you seem to seek to emulate the most. I pray that you will embrace their quest for equal rights. I pray that you will come to understand this as a call to protect ALL LIVES equally--including the unborn lives in this country.

I pray that you will be protected from the lies and the enemy, the intoxicating ill-effects of power and the human tendency to think of ourselves more highly than we ought.

I pray that the astounding swell of public support that you have (both from the media and many citizens of our world) will not go to your head but will, instead, go to your heart. I pray that you have appropriate confidence, but that you do not believe the hype about yourself. May you be a leader people follow not because they have to, but because they want to.

May your wisdom and strength come from the Lord. May your heart be tender towards the love and will of our Father.

I pray for your marriage and your family--that despite the intense glare of the media spotlight you will be able to have a home that is a haven of love, peace and rest.

May you be a leader who models integrity--who stands for things that count.

In short, I pray you don't blow it. But when you do make the inevitable mistakes, I pray you will be able to own up to them.

And finally, I pray that you will find your identity...not as a black man, a mixed race man, but as an American...and more importantly, as a dearly loved child of God placed in this position at this time for specific purposes. May you find your purpose and embrace it.