Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I woke up this morning...

255....thankful that I live in a country, where on the morning after an election there are no riots; where power is transferred peacefully and one president will step down willingly for another man with very different views to take his place.

I have lived in places where this is not so. I lived through a coup attempt in Kenya at a time when military opponents of the government in control tried to take over by force. I remember the sound of gunshots on that Sunday morning. I remember trucks with armed men patrolling the streets, a dawn to dusk curfew, and fear. I stood on the roof of a building in a Nairobi slum a week later watching as people suspected of opposing the government were rounded up at gunpoint. I am extremely thankful to live in a country where power is transferred peacefully.

256....thankful that I live in a country where the poison of racism and bigotry are growing less and less powerful generation by generation. The poison is still present in many hearts, but how many older African Americans have said they thought they would never live to see this day. We can rejoice that this barrier has come down - that an African American will step into the highest office in the land - and we can work for greater racial harmony in our neighborhoods, communities and churches.

257....thankful that I live in a country where people are willing to stand in line for hours to vote. I am thankful that each of my voting age children made whatever effort was necessary to cast their ballots. I pray that they will vote in every election of their adult lives and let their voices be heard. It is a privilege that we must not take lightly.

258....thankful that, at long last, the venom and ugliness of campaigning have been replaced by gracious words. Wouldn't it be something if the kind of words we heard last night continued to be spoken by and about our leaders. How refreshing it would be if this election ushered in a new day of respect and honest words.

259...thankful for the thoughtful words of many, particularly those who shared the quandary they felt they were in as they considered the candidates in this presidential election. Their words encouraged and informed. I appreciate the freedom we have in this country to express differing views, knowing that this freedom is protected under our constitution.

I woke up this morning, thankful, but burdened. I share with many a deep concern over what will happen in the months and years ahead in the fight to protect unborn children from the horror of abortion. That is the issue that burdens my heart as Mr. Obama steps into the presidency.

I know there are many other issues of great importance. Our economy is in a mess (though we are still some of the wealthiest people in the world and I expect most of us in this country had food to eat this morning). We are in two wars and families long for their soldier loved ones to return home. We have lost standing in the world as a country. My son, Jonathan, has written persuasively about his concerns about international affairs. Yes, there are many issues and I want to be a responsible and caring citizen. I hope, with so many, for better days ahead.

For today, I am thankful. Thankful for the freedoms I enjoy, thankful for the benefits of such freedom, thankful for an election concluded, thankful for this country.

1 comment:

tonia said...

so beautifully said, beth. thank you. i, too, wish that unborn children were under the scope of our new president's justice.

i was thinking about this today - that many great men are also flawed men and that flawed people can change. george washington held 300 slaves but changed his views on slavery and freed his slaves when he died, even providing for their them after he was gone.

we can certainly put our prayer efforts toward praying obama has a change of heart on this issue.

we have been a nation slow to change...look how long it has taken us to come to this place on race issues. but i believe we will change on abortion too and one day we will look back with horror at what we accepted so easily.

you are a blessing.