Let There Be Peace in the Valley
I thought yesterday that when the word came down that the election was decided and Donald Trump would not continue to destroy this country that I would race to the front door, throw it open, and shout as loud as I could, “There is a God in heaven! Thank God almighty, it’s over.” But no, I didn’t.
When I awoke, I climbed out of bed and walked into my kitchen and there out of the window I saw that the American flag my neighbor put up days ago was no longer flying. This flag that suddenly had appeared and with disrespect remained up even in the dark of night without a light shining on it was a flag I could no longer fly. This flag so loudly stood for the differences between us. He had taken it down. I knew then.
So, why was I not jubilant, joyful, screaming with delight?
My cell phone beeped, and I took hold of it and saw the Apple News headline. Joe Biden won with 284 electoral votes. Every news service corroborated this. Apparently, the voters in Pennsylvania had vindicated themselves from the decision they made in 2016. More than that, people who stayed away from the polls four years ago had awakened and made sure they did not make the same mistake this time. Well, good, I thought. So, why am I sad?
Yes, sadness permeated my body and my soul. So much lost in this process. So much pain. So much hatred. No, I won’t be racing to the front door to scream my happiness to the world.
I won’t be genuinely happy until every last ballot is counted once through and counted again. Not for the reasons that Donald Trump wants them counted and recounted, but because without the assurance that every single vote was valid and counted and the outcome truly shows that democracy still works in this country, will I be able to sing, “Thank God almighty! It’s over.”
I was planning to spend my day doing the office work for the new organization dedicated to the peace and nonviolence of Jesus that John Dear and I have put together. Instead I wandered back to bed after breakfast and lay down with my cats nestled around me for warmth, for it was a cold morning, and I fell asleep again. Asleep. Restful sleep, for the first time in a long time. Sleep. Sweet blissful sleep.
Hunger woke me. Lunchtime had rolled around. I flicked on the radio to listen to my favorite folk music program that plays every Saturday on public radio. Standing in the kitchen I heard the tune, “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” Then the tears began to roll down my face. Uncontrollably, I sobbed.
What relief! I hadn’t realized for how long I must have been holding my breath, not allowing the grief to be expressed. Tears? Yes!
There is a God in heaven! Thank God almighty, IT’S OVER!