Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Couple of Firsts

Today the nation completed another peaceful transfer of power. It's always a point of pride that we do that so well. History is loaded with political leaders who never willingly step off the stage. I'm thankful that Americans haven't gone there... once an election has been decided, the transition is peaceful and usually smooth.

It's well documented that this is the first African-American President. I'm glad for America that we have shown that minority candidates can be elected. It's now not just empty talk that there is opportunity at all levels in America. Real equality will come should he be judged on the quality of his leadership rather than favored merely for the pigment of his skin.

The second "first" is one thing that concerns me, and I hope it to be an unfounded concern. This is the first day that President Obama has ever been an executive in charge of anything. He has spent his career organizing communities and sitting on committees in legislatures. Legislators have hours to ponder issues and can vote "present" when it's inconvenient for them to take a stand. As President, Obama now must make decisions on the spot and there's no avoiding the difficult issues.

I remember how angry many liberals were with Bill Clinton after his Inauguration when it became apparent to them that he wasn't doing everything they wanted. I wonder how President Obama will keep his vast following happy. It seems that Rep. Pelosi is already complaining about his economic package (surprise, surprise).

I pray that God will pour upon this man the wisdom and courage he'll need to lead this country. He's our President now. Let's hope he has good judgment and leadership abilities.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Goodbye, Jenn

Jenn Viveiros was taken from us Saturday. A close friend to my teenagers and a frequent participant in the church youth group with them, Jenn was friendly and upbeat. She enjoyed many ultimate frisbee games in the church back yard with David, Seth, Zach, Aly, and Sam (and many others).

How can we make sense of this tragedy? I don't believe we can. Some things I may never know nor understand. It may never make sense to me.

The pain is stark, blunt, and hard. I cannot imagine the agony her parents must be experiencing. I can see the impact her loss is already having on my family.

May God help us all to get through this.