A new president for the United States! And it's a "wow" moment for all of us. All the newspapers and t.v. reports are calling this election "historical." It is. I never thought I'd ever see an African-American president, but seeing as how this is America, I don't know why the possibility should have eluded me. Think of all the possibilities that Americans thought would never come to fruition: wars and politics, advancements in science and technology, social and economical changes, etc.
In my 42 years on this earth, I've witnessed many historical events, some I may not have considered influential, and then there were those that I couldn't even wrap my brain around, and those that changed my life forever. One of those historical moments that comes to mind, is when I saw Haley's comet in 1986 ( I thought it was cool), and then the Hale-Bopp comet in 1996 (thanks to my nephew who pointed it out because he was studying it in school). We watched it in the sky for at least 3 days. It was magnificent.
In 1990 (there's no timeline, just working off of my memory), I worked an after-school program for the YMCA. It was one of the best jobs I ever had especially since I usually have an aversion to children, mainly because I don't know what to do with them. Fortunately, my sister had a child and I got to practice on him; it prepared me for that job. I think that was historical in and of itself, but the moment of history I progress to is the Persian Gulf War that broke out in the summer of that year. I had never known so many people who were called to war. Friends, family, acquaintances all were being sent to or being prepared for war. I watched it on the news every morning. Missiles were being fired, explosions, gunfire, demolished cities, and then the body count on both sides began to grow like a ticker-tape on the stock market. How was any of this possible? In my lifetime, how could I be a witness to such a war? A co-worker, who had just turned 19 and was currently in the reserves, came to work one day and announced that he would not be coming back because his unit had just been called to active duty. He was only 19 and they wanted him to go to war; where there are missiles being fired, and things exploding and burning, and people being sent home because they're....dead? A knot began to grow in my stomach. I think it was there all along, but it became more noticeable after that day. I really don't like war. I really don't like it at all.
The first Polish pope made a lot of headlines in 1978. I'll never claim to have been edified in the history of Catholicism, but I knew enough to know that a Polish pope was a big deal. Besides, I thought he was pretty cool and he made a lot of headway within the church. He taught me an important word...solidarity. Solidarity. I don't claim to know much, but I know he wanted desperately to influence change. I could feel it when I heard him speak. Solidarity. So many people hated him and tried to cause him harm. He never gave up and continued to work to help his people, his faith, his religion. Solidarity. He once said, "Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song."
9-11 was one of the greatest tragedies that I have ever witnessed. It was like watching an action adventure film without the popcorn. In all my life I have never been privy to such knowledge that evil existed in the world. I mean, we hear that there is evil in the world; we read that there is hate and animosity; words are spoken of such an evil that brings despair and darkness to one's heart. But to know it, to know of yourself that there is such evil in the world made me fearful. But even in my greatest fear I found my heart clinging to the hope that God has a purpose and a plan. I believe. I may, at times, doubt and fear and even despair; it's a weakness. I acknowledge that. But yet, I believe. I do believe that in all things God has a purpose and a plan. I believe.
3 John 4: "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in faith."
And now, we have a new president of the United States. Wow. Let's all say it together: wow!