Amazing Grace

. . . in God’s eyes, we are One

I think that President Obama’s address, in So. Carolina, at the funeral rites of Reverend Pinckney, the murdered Leader of the AME Church there, and one of nine killed there, will stand in history along-side Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, and will define what 160 years of The Nation’s emotional and physical evolution has brought about.

Lincoln and Obama, both spoke of the same turmoil in our Nation, but after that century and a half of time, and while the core of that turmoil might be the same, the Consciousness of the Nation has grown and matured, allowing Obama to speak from a different viewpoint.

He emphasized, as Lincoln did, that he spoke as OUR President, and to ALL of us, BUT inasmuch as so much has happened to ALL of us during that last century and a half, he was addressing a more mature, and I hope wiser people than Lincoln did.

He was also speaking as one who, at this time of turmoil, was also remembering that he, OUR respected President, is a product of both sides of the tension, and as such, how his heart bleeds with understanding for both.

And with that history, OUR President spoke as a man, who is in the position of political leader of ALL of us, and with his background, to be the one striving to bring understanding and peace to all, no matter from which creed, color or race.

And, with no apology, Obama, asked for the Grace of God to be upon both sides. Tears came to my eyes as I listened and sensed his feeling of understanding and empathy for both. Who could know better? Who else could speak out with such understanding and power?

Torn?   No, and that was the wonderful part of his words. Just as the families of those who were murdered in that So. Carolina Church, were calling upon forgiveness for both the Murdered, as well as forgiveness for The Murderer, so did Obama ask the same of us. Me and you and you and you. 

He spoke of God’s Grace, and knew that God did not separate people and that His Grace fell upon both sides, and that, in God’s eyes, there were not and never had been two sides, and reminded us of that Grace, and – – – suddenly my body shivered as he, my President, your President, with no introduction, began singing. Singing that familiar and wonderful hymn of “Amazing Grace”.  And not to the camera, not to the Press, but only from his own heart, did he sing.

And almost before that first phrase was complete, the congregation, one by one, two , three and then soon, everyone was standing and singing along with him. It was not a rehearsed moment. It was spontaneous, accompanied by claps of approval, different types of voices, but with the same words and emotions.

Our President was not speaking or singing for the Nation or the world, but was  speaking and singing for himself and to you and me and every person, who knows that at the Source, we are all One. And for all  to rise and praise That Source, for the last 160 years of  evolution of the Nation’s emotions, and brave enough to show our true feelings.

Forgiveness. The answer to all our problems, not only this particular  one, but the answer which covers all. Forgiveness not only for those others, but primarily, forgiveness of ourselves. Forgiveness for our actions. Forgiveness for our thinking.

Forgiveness that rises above our pain, our anger, or any justification. Obama, for that hour on June 26th, was more than our political leader, for at that time he bravely stepped forward, and spoke as a Spiritual leader as well.

He rose above all justified resentments, and spoke of the Oneness of All. And asked us to step forward with him. More bloodshed is not the answer, for as the song he was singing says, we are all sinners, “A Wretch like me”, is how the song tells us, and that wherever we are, whatever race we come from, whichever creed we follow – – – –  in God’s eyes, we are One. You, me, those people, as well as any other people,  we all seek Shelter under God’s Grace.

And if our President has the humility to speak and sing those words, in his untrained voice, to the Nation and world, so do I, and You, and You.

And I think, that somewhere, in one of God’s ‘Next Rooms’ Abraham Lincoln also stood, and with tears in his eyes, joined in the song of God’s Amazing Grace.

4 thoughts on “Amazing Grace

  1. I’m glad you took the time to comment favorably on Obama’s effort to give solace to those families and to the rest of the nation.
    My discouragement with Obama kept me from a grudging approval. I’m sure Lincoln had some detractors during the Civil War that had plenty of uncivic comments that showed in periodicals of the day. Yet in the perspective of 150 years ago we hold Lincoln in pretty high regard. In 150 years in the future I’m hoping for a similar regard for the Pres.
    I can’t help thinking he was there, yes, out of respect for the dead, but also to garner political favor from those in attendance and his supporters across the world.
    For Lincoln to commiserate the death of 50,000 Americans is somewhat a magnitude above those that died in Charlotte and every life is valuable. I rue the hate exhibited by that damned kid, and hope his conscience never lets him rest, but his was a crime, Gettysburg was an enormous tragedy.

    • jim, thank you. You brought up important side-issues that I thought of, but space must be regarded, and it is so great that someone with a calm mind did it for me. Time, like post Civil War days, will judge and ‘report in’. E. B.

  2. Ethel, you wrote of how we must go past any ‘justified resentments’ we have. Alcoholics Anonymous also bravely says: “Justified Resentments are one of our most dangerous challenges.”
    Keep the blog going, Ethel, you help remind us of what’s really important in life.

  3. Wow, you made my day. We all have resentments which are justified, A big one of mine happened in my youth. Took me a long time to face it, and then still longer, to forgive both ways. With my ‘poor me’ attitude it was as if I actually treasured it. Wise of Obama to recognize and remind us. No wonder it all takes a long time to learn. E.B.

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