Yesterday I spent an uncommon amount of time (for me) on YouTube. I watched the eulogies of Barack Obama, Meghan McCain and George W. Bush during the funeral of Senator John McCain. All were quite different, as are the individuals themselves, but at a moment during the speech of former President Bush I was struck by a rising sensation that I can only express as “love of country.” It was clear to me that in moments of great import, small things no longer have any place. I have known this often in the past year during weather disasters and mass shootings, but this was in some way different. It struck at the heart of how we as Americans are able, perhaps, to agree in times of great division because we recognize what is important at the center of everything. We do not need to be perfect in order to be together; we just need to be willing. We have not reached 100% participation in this truth but yesterday allowed me a glimpse of possibility that has been sorely lacking for us as a country lately.
As I reflected on this experience, Paul’s Letter to the Romans, chapter 8, floated through my consciousness. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time, Paul writes. We ourselves groan inwardly while we wait…In the same way…the Spirit intercedes for us with wordless groans.
I mused about the fact that what I was watching was taking place in a house of worship, a place where respect is usually a given and inner seeking is the order of the day. It was a moment of sadness but also of hope, as if everyone there and those watching from afar could sense, at least in some small way, that all things work for the good of those who love God.