On what happens next

It seems churlish not to say something about what has happened in this country that less than a lifetime ago could not guarantee every black man his right to vote. If nothing else we can be thankful that the world has changed in that respect. Is Barack Obama made of more solid stuff than the tinsel and glitter that pleases most voters in this modern age? I suppose we will see. We certainly ought to pray so.

We ought to consider as well that what happens to America — what is happening to America — is us. If we discern a decay in civility, a decline of thoughtfulness and insight, a pervasive faithlessness and unrooted longing, then we ought to consider that these things have not been done to us, but we have allowed them to become true of ourselves. Perhaps some collection of politicians can make things better or worse at the margins, but in the end we get the government, the businesses, the communities, the churches, that reflect what is in our souls — the present light, the hungering dark, and the absence of what was meant to be.

What begins now is a fussy period of building up and tearing down. The people in power will work to solidify their gains, reward their friends, and punish their enemies. Those rightfully tossed out the door will begin nipping at the heels of their vanquishers. All of them will fall to the game — albeit with different job titles — of snarling over scraps of wealth that none of them had a hand in creating. These people will always be with us, living out their natures.

My prayer is that the rest of will switch off our talk radio and our cable opinion shows and turn to the real business that has always been before fallen man, which is the reconciliation of his troubled spirit to something greater than himself. Polls show that a great many Americans believe something is not right, that the nation is off kilter, not what it should be. A great many of us yesterday voted for change. Pray that instead of speaking that outward, we whisper it back to ourselves.


  1. Pingback: Same as It Ever Was « After The Handbasket

  2. Marc V

    This is a similar sentiment that Franklin Graham gave when he was interviewed a few days after 9/11/01. We need help with our own sin nature from our Redeemer before we can hope to improve our communities and nation.

    I am also struggling with the “decay in civility” as it applies to the Libs afflicted with Bush Derangement Syndrome. They now expect the “losers” to accept Obama with grace, yet I hear some wanting to take Pres. Bush, VP Cheney and others to court, hanging them for enabling the most immoral administration in the history of the world. It’s a sad state of affairs.

  3. Michael Forrester

    John Adams , July 3, 1776:

    “It may be the will of heaven that America shall suffer calamities still more wasting and distresses yet more dreadful. If this is to be the case, it will have this good effect at least: it will inspire us with many virtues, which we have not, and correct many errors, follies and vices which threaten to disturb, dishonor and destroy us. The furnace of affliction produces refinement, in states as well as in individuals. And the new governments we are assuming in every part, will require a purification from our vices and an augmentation of our virtues or there will be no blessings….But I must submit all my hopes and fears to an overruling Providence; in which as unfashionable as faith may be, I firmly believe.”

  4. MLP

    We will accept the Obama administration with grace. That alone is driving the liberals that I know bonkers.
    If the election of Obama breaks the psychological chains minorities in this country have been convinced are their birthright, it may be worth the struggles of the next four years.

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