I was just watching our cat as I tried to think of how to characterize this moment. It’s very foggy outside, due to a very welcome few days of “Indian summer.” The visual speaks to the inability to see clearly, however. Precious (yes, the cat’s name is Precious) was just about to test the limits of her agility by jumping from chair to small table to window sill in the living room. She is an indoor cat so takes every opportunity to go close to danger without being harmed, even though she is likely unaware of how dangerous the outside world that would await her could be.
After several attempts to test the distance and judge the width of the window sill, she jumps and succeeds in reaching her goal. She rarely misses it but always tries again. She doesn’t stay long today, perhaps because of the fog. She is now back ensconced on a very comfortable chair for her morning nap.
Watching Precious go through her ritual this morning, I thought of us and what awaits us now after the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. The celebration in the streets, and most likely inside as well, was long and joyful in cities all over the country. Clearly there were those who were not rejoicing at the outcome but yesterday belonged to the “winners,” even while Joe Biden promised that the win belongs to all of us. The fog is thick as we consider how we will proceed. It will take confidence—more for some than others—to study the risks of going forward. The leap will be easy for some; it will take many attempts to look beyond the chasm that separates us before a readiness to jump brings us together, but jump we must.
As the fog dissipates in the light of the morning sun, I consider Joe Biden’s often repeated statement that he will not be democratic president or a republican president but rather an American president. So in this new moment, in the aftermath of the election, having seen the deep and wide divide in our nation, my prayer will need to change. I must – yes, truly must, put myself in the shoes of those on the other side of the chasm and be willing to pray for the courage to find ways to jump into the future together.