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Holding Onto Hope

holding hope usa flagI look at the pictures of the American political scene from the past 18 months and I can't help but think back on my rural childhood, spent by and large in books, encyclopedias, and old magazines.

My politics were shaped by those black and white images. Jackie O holding little John, snuggling him close like a mother should. Malcolm chatting casually with Martin. And of course, the throngs following Martin's struggle for change, giving their lives, sacrificing their hopes and dreams for his American dream.

Those images left me with a sense that they were waiting to see something. Anything other than what they'd seen already. Holding their thoughts, their ideas and ideals lightly or maybe tightly. Unsure of the outcome of their journey. But happy and hopeful. In the moment.

Of course, we know how life (and America) changed for these cultural and national icons. And in turn, for us.

But when I look at the images from the past year in the U. S., I wonder. The woman professor sweeping Obama's headquarters in Durham, NC. The pretty brown-skinned college-age girl in tears, clinging to a crowd-control barrier, listening listening listening to Obama speak. The campaign workers, whites and blacks waiting like children on Christmas Eve, waiting for Obama to arrive again. The little children, little brown ones and white ones, looking up into the face of Obama pressed on every side in the crowd, holding signs. Holding...

I wonder what my children will look back on when they see the images of this campaign. Will they look at the men, women, and children and see disappointment? Or hope fulfilled.

I don't know what my country will look like, or act like, in a few short hours. I can only hope that those who call the name of Christ will act like we know Him. If for no other reason but for the sake of our witness 'in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.'

Above all, I pray there is hope for this.