(On my porch this morning)
What can I say about last night—and the triumph of Barack Obama? It was historic, it was inspiring, it was transcendent, and it was moving beyond words. So I’ll keep my own inadequate words brief.
It was impossible to watch history being made last night and not be moved and swept up in the jubilation and sense of hope and joy. This morning, my jubilation is somewhat tempered by thoughts of just how far our country has to travel in the journey back to wholeness and just how rocky and steep the road will be. I guess you could say I feel a sense of sober optimism.
One thing is for sure—no matter who you voted for, in order for real healing to take place, the healing must begin in our own hearts and minds. One man alone cannot bring about change—it must begin in us. We must be the change we want to see.
John McCain said it well in his concession speech last night:
“I urge all Americans who supported me to join me in not just congratulating him, but offering our next president our good will and earnest effort to find ways to come together to find the necessary compromises to bridge our differences… to leave our children and grandchildren a stronger, better country than we inherited.”
And, of course, as always, President-Elect Barack Obama inspired us with his words:
“What began twenty-one months ago in the depths of winter must not end on this autumn night. This victory alone is not the change we seek — it is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. It cannot happen without you.
So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other. Let us remember that if this financial crisis taught us anything, it’s that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers — in this country, we rise or fall as one nation; as one people.
Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long….. This is our time — to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth — that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people:
Yes We Can. Thank you, God bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.”
Indeed. And it is my prayer that God not only may bless us, but that He may heal our souls and spirits and the soul and spirit of our nation. And it is my most earnest prayer that God may keep Barack Obama and his family safe in the palm of His hand.