Our American Legacy

Our angst, our sadness, even our anger, deserve personal process and time for reflection. “Moving forward” does not preclude allowing healthy introspection and taking the time to center. Our psyches have endured untold assault this past year in the disconnect Covid has rendered on so many levels.The events of this week add even more.

I pray for the family of Officer Brian Sicknick, who gave his life defending the Capitol premises and those trapped inside, our elected officials convened to conclude the election process. I also pray for the families of the four others who died, Ashli Babbitt, Benjamin Phillips, Kevin Greyson and Roseann Boyland. All of their families are left to grieve.

I try to think ahead to what will be taught in classrooms about this event in the near future as well as the distant future, even 100 years distant. I hope we leave a legacy that reflects, first and foremost, that the laws of our land prevailed. That these events were scrutinized and professionally investigated by measured, methodical means with outcomes applied within the laws we are all called to follow. Lack of accountability at all levels invites repeat behaviors, but more importantly, disrespects and dilutes those very laws and the people and institutions they are to protect.

We clearly need to be a reconciling people and that hard, long term work begins with each of us, in many ways. But work toward authentic unity can’t begin by dismissing the reality that transparency and courageous decision making requires now. Those decisions will become our legacy. They will tell our future citizens we allowed and used a wide lens, patient and thoughtful responses based on the benchmark of law, to exhibit our hopes and dreams for the long term. Citizens deserve to know, both now and in the future, our laws cannot be brushed aside for short term solutions that won’t stand the test of time.

Officer Sicknick did his job. We can honor his life by our responses. We can acknowledge all of those who lost their lives with our prayers.

And then we can become a reconciling people by listening closely for the answers to those prayers and living out those answers. God loves each of us. All of us. I fully trust in his answers that I know will start with loving one another as we love him.


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