How was your day, January 20?
January 20 was a day etched in my memory.
Nationally, it was an important day. It was inauguration day.
Socially, it was an important day. It was January 20, 2020 that the first person in the United States was diagnosed with COVID-19.
Personally, it was an important day. It was January 20, 2017, that my mom transitioned from this world to the next.
I was leaking tears all day and I couldn’t always distinguish the source.
The inauguration had some tear-jerking moments.
Yes, you may have cried because your guy wasn’t being inaugurated, but surely, regardless of whose name you marked on your November 3 ballot, you had to soar along with the giant dove on Lady Gaga’s dress to the themes and performances of the January 20 inauguration. I wrote about a few of these moments for the weekly “Random Thoughts from the Rev” that I post weekly for the church I pastor, The Venues. You can also find these “thoughts” here: The Venues Facebook. But, I’ll add these:
*As former Presidents walked onto the platform I was made aware that we have taken the transfer of power for granted. No more. Seeing leaders from both parties, past and present, together after the events of the last two weeks made me realize how precious it is. Speaking of the events of the last two weeks, how about:
*Eugene Goodman. Two weeks ago he was staring down a mob of rioters who sought to do real harm to our National Leaders as they had already done to our Nation’s Capitol. On January 20, he was escorting new Vice-President Kamala Harris onto the dais. It was a deserved honor for both.
*Who doesn’t cry at the sound of “Amazing Grace”? But when Garth Brooks led us to sing the third verse, out came the Kleenex :
Through many dangers, toils, and snares.
I have already come.
Twas grace that brought us safe thus far.
And grace will lead me home.
The words had new, special meaning on January 20.
*Speaking of “grace”, did you catch what Inaugural Committee Co-chair, Sen Roy Blunt (from my home state of Missouri) turned to President Obama and said, “We remember when you sang that at Mother Emmanuel Church” (after the horrible shooting there). I heard criticism from some of President Obama’s song on that occasion.
I didn’t understand the criticism. I was saddened by it.
So I welcomed Sen. Blunt’s “shout out to Barak Obama. It was a remarkable moment. A healing moment.
I’d love to know what mom was experiencing “there” while watching what we were experiencing here.
Mom and I often talked politics. We didn’t always agree. We more often talked Scripture. Again, we didn’t always agree! Ha!
But there would be agreement with the poem by Amanda Gorman. The 22 year old National Youth Poet Laureate finished writing the poem on the night of January 6, after a mob stormed the Capitol. She included a reference to Micah 4:4, saying:
Scripture tells us to envision
That everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree
And no one shall make them afraid,
If we’re to live up to our own time
Then victory won’t like in the blade
But in all the bridges we’ve made,
That is the promise to glade
Mom is living out the ultimate fulfillment of Micah’s prophecy.
Amanda calls us to work toward the fulfillment now.
The new dawn blooms as we free it
For there is always light,
If only we’re brave enough to see it
If only we’re brave enough to be it.