Inauguration of Barack Obama

I wish I could feel the chill of the air and the heat of the millions of Americans bodies who have decended upon our nations captial today.

Instead I feel the draft of a nearby window and heat as it is forced from vent at the Big Boy restuaruant where I sit in Caro, Michigan.

I sit at a table by myself, yet surrounded by Americans. Americans who by my best estimate have been effected in one way or another by the reality of the world in which we live.

I wonder how many have lost their jobs recently. Who are struggling to feed their families and keep their house; but they smile at their young children pretending that everything is going to be alright.

I wonder how many are eating their lunch before returning to work, with the knowledge they are now years away from retirement as a result of the downslide of the stock market.

I wonder how many are on their way to a doctors appointment, even though they don’t have healthcare to cover the cost.

I wonder how many have lost children or grandchildren who were serving overseas with the military.

I wonder these things as people sit eating their french-fries, sipping their coffee and I listen to words of the Inaugural Address spoken by the 44th President of the United States of America, Barack Obama.

I am overwhelmed by the real words he speaks. He knows about the people sitting around me at the Caro Big Boy and he speaks to them. Whether they agree with his politics or not, whether they voted for him or not, he speaks to all Americans with words of hope and unity.

What strikes me most about President Obama’s words is his emphasis that the kind of change that needs to happen to turn things around isn’t the sole responsibility of the government. “For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies.”

Our nation relies on the Americans like those who sat at tables around me at Big Boy, who gather around communion tables, and dinner tables. America relies on all of us to go from these tables strengthened to serve something beyond ourselves.

My prayer as I leave the table, is that President Obama lives and leads with integrity, following through with the words he has spoken. I also pray that we face the challenges before us as a nation we live with the veracity to follow the greatest commandment set before us by Jesus:

‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’
This is the first and greatest commandment.
And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.’
- Matthew 22: 37-40


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