This past week was one of those weeks that was plain exhausting. Everyone I spoke with said the exact same thing. And no matter what you did, or said, it just felt like nothing you tried would or could alleviate that exhaustion.
Then Saturday came and for many of us a dark cloud had been lifted from our souls. The dark night of the soul is one of my favorite sayings. And this week, and probably the past four years have just felt like a dreary dark night of our souls. No matter what side you were or are on…the worst impulses of our souls have been on display.
And personally, I had gotten to the place where Fannie Lou Hammer once described as being sick and tired of being sick and tired.
Saturday’s announcement found me in tears. Not because one party won a race over another party.
No, it’s because as the bible teaches us in 1 Corinthians 9:25 “Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”
And what had been trained for and what was at stake was a crown that could last for all our humanity.
A crown of love, joy, hope, possibility, and freedom again. The past four years had made it hard to hold out the hope that we could see a clear path forward for all of us, and not just some of us. Wanting the best for everyone is not socialism...its Christianity. Its agape love. Its knowing I really am my brother's keeper.
Over the past four years I have reached out and had conversations with those I admire and respect. Some of the world’s and country’s wealthiest, some of the world’s most socially and politically connected and some of those in non-government organizations who could challenge my perceptions.
Over the past four years I have visited friends near and far to check my own barometer of prejudice. I needed to check the lens in which I was casting judgment.
Yet, I found that for all that I’ve had to live through – the turbulent 60’s as an eight year old, seeing military tanks roll down the street in front of my home in Detroit – or things like Watergate and the resignation of a President – or Jim Crow and segregated water fountains in the south when my family would visit my grandparents – or being spit upon and called the “N” word as a seventeen year old - or on a college campus protesting against apartheid and the freedom of Nelson Mandela – or even more recently the Black Lives Matter social justice protest – these last four years were the most challenging of my life.
They were challenging because they were not about me. They were about my children and grandchildren. They were about the hope for a better world with our country leading the way.
This race, based on a wing and a prayer, was all about the better angels among us.
Nelson Mandela once said, “May your choices reflect your hopes and not your fears.”
This Saturday was about our hope for the future. It was not about party, politics, or press. It was about what we want for our children, our grandchildren and for each other.
So today, take a step back and breathe. Tomorrow we have work to do. Much work to do…together.
So today honk your horns and wave your flags. Tomorrow roll up your sleeves. It will take work to build a more inclusive and just society for all of us. But we can do this.
We can do this together.
And that’s a brilliant glimpse of insight.