I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.1 Timothy 2:1-2
If you have been reading the past few days then you already know about our weekend in DC for an epic wedding celebration. The beauty and joy of the ceremony did not surprise me – but what did take me off guard was the surge of patriotism and sense of both pride and solemnity that captured me when I stood on the rooftop overlooking the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, and the United States Capitol.
To be honest, I was a little overcome. I recorded a 30-second “in the moment” response which is neither eloquent nor well constructed. But it is real and I will share it below.
Then, making my way back into the reception area, I fell into conversation with a number of people standing at the tall windows, taking in the panoramic view.
“This is amazing!” I said aloud. “I can’t help but feel a sense of awe when I see this city stretched out below us like this. The USA is the most powerful, and prosperous, and politically open nation on Earth and I simply feel grateful. I wish every American could stand here with me and understand what a privilege it is to live here!”
There were nods of agreement, and even those who were not Americans completely understood the sentiment.
Why is it so hard for us to work together, and to respect one another? I thought. How could anyone possible try to undermine the workings of this democracy? Do we have any idea what we have, and who we are, and what we stand for…?
I’ll be straight with you. This was an emotional moment for me. I felt the gravity of this place, and such appreciation for the work that is done here.
At the same time I felt the vulnerability that accompanies freedom, and all the United States of America stands for; the precarious knife-edge of security a democracy balances on. Because we depend on the goodwill, and the fundamental commitment to the democratic process, of all people. We depend on mutual trust, and that trust is being eroded.
Trust and belief in America is what allowed Al Gore (who won the popular vote in 2000), and Hillary Clinton (who was convincingly ahead in the 2016 count) to yield office to George Bush and Donald Trump respectively. And today neither candidate would regret their decision to respect the process.
If we lose trust we lose the heart of who we are.
Those who work to erode trust corrode America.
This we must not do.
Consider this view(point) – and enjoy this spectacular view of our nation’s capital, from the early afternoon through into the evening…. – DEREK