Most of you who know me also know that I am a Christian. This photo blog isn’t about my faith, however…it’s just a blog about things I think about or that I see during that day that I photograph. If you want to read my Christian devotional musings, I’ve got another blog for that.
Today’s photo, however, was taken at Perimeter Church and is a shot of a part of a stained glass window. You may recognize the passage these words came from, but if not, that’s OK because I’m not wanting to talk about the passage of Scripture, but a thought it brought to my mind about America and what I see happening to my beloved country.
There was once a time when America was almost universally respected, if not loved. The Statue of Liberty in New York harbor holds aloft her torch as a symbol to the world of the “light” that can be found in, and that is, America. As a parallel, Christ said his followers were to be light to the world, and America served that role for generations.
I wish I could say that it is still that way, but I’ve got my doubts. I see opposing sides vilifying those on the other side of nearly every issue – liberals and conservatives alike. Both sides take snippets, or sound bites, from a statement made by their opposition and then rant and rave about the statement (which was taken out of context more often than not), or they emphasize a few words rather than looking for what the speaker meant. It’s the old “letter of the law” versus the spirit of what was trying to be communicated. Both major political parties hate each other and think there is no redeeming value to be found in the opposite party or anyone who is a member of that party. They ascribe the worst possible motives and refuse to believe that someone on “the other side” (sorta sounds like “the dark side”, doesn’t it?) could possibly be sincere or believe what they do for some seemingly good reason. Now I’m the first to tell you that being sincere isn’t enough – we can be sincerely wrong – but it is a basis upon which we once could operate in this country. We used to give one another the benefit of the doubt. Seems to me that we no longer do.
I fear that this election year is going to see the worst possible sorts of vilification, name calling, slander, gossip, rumor and innuendo that we’ve ever witnessed. I hope I’m wrong. I love America – and I’d love for us to once again be respected, if not loved, by the rest of the world instead of sneered at and denigrated. Maybe, just maybe, America can once again become a light for other countries in the world. We can’t be their salvation nor can we solve the world’s problems, but even shedding light in dark corners of the world is a good thing. But we’ve got to relight our torch as a nation!
In order for some of that to happen, I need to check my own internal state of the union and be the kind of person who is sincere, trustworthy, gentle, respectful and loving toward others. I’ve got plenty of work to do, but it’s worth doing.
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1954, Bill Haley and the Comets recorded “Rock Around the Clock”. It went on to sell 25 million copies, second only to Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas.” I don’t know if it’s been surpassed since then, but it held second place at least as long as singles were being sold in a physical, not digital, format. Let’s rock!!!
TRIVIA FOR TODAY: uninterrupted since the 6th century, a member of the same family has sat upon the throne of Japan. The current emperor, Akihito, is the 125th in the line of succession.