On Presidents, Kings and Worlds We Know: Barack Obama

Today, we hear that Barack Obama has been elected President of the United States of America.

Half of my friends and family are in mourning; half of my friends and family are in celebration. Listening too closely to either makes my head hurt – though if you are one of them, my love remains just the same.

My vote was cast (a vote that shall remain anonymous) the other week by absentee ballot. I live in a beautiful country neighbouring my native United States, Canada. My wife cast her vote as well, and has kept me quite interested in her perspective by her years of living outside of the United States in countries that hunger for the kinds of freedom in which we bask across North America.

The radio says that the jury is in. The ballots have decided, and we have a new president.

I say, the jury is still out – not on the presidential question, but on the world civilization question.

How melodramatic. But, for me, the jury is still out.

In both ears, I hear the tears and cheers of those who stood on opposing sides of the ballot box.

But inside my head, I hear a question that transcends “We need change now,” or “That guy is an idiot,” or “War must never be an option,” or “our precious freedom, protected with many generation’s blood, is being lost in the spirit of the age.”

The question I hear in my head, “Where is human civilization going?”

That question dis-eases me, silences my ability to cheer for one candidate or another, and leaves me in the land of queries for which no one seems to have an adequate answer.

Voting according to the grand scheme of world history, was a hard path for me. Voting according to Eden was a challenge. Voting according to an Eden that has fallen, and that welcomed bullies into the world was hard. Voting according to my conscience was confusing. Voting according to the raw stats on the rise and fall of civilizations picked at me day and night. Voting according to “what we need right now and are ready to cheer for,” was just not an option for the kind of brain/soul I’ve been given.

I’m not primarily gifted as an academic, but rather as an artist, communicator and lover of the “over-stories” that guide human beings. I have too much naivety, and too many questions, that I seem to bring to every ballot box.

So, while banners wave, Facebooks posts with 5 exclamation points flicker, hope is rekindled or worst fears are realized,

I stand still…

Praying, listening to the nagging question, and asking God “What do you think?”

Out of Interest:

Jared Diamond On Why Societies Collapse at TED.com


Sheltering Mercy: Prayers Inspired by the Psalms

Sheltering Mercy, along with its companion volume, Endless Grace, helps us rediscover the rich treasures of the Psalms—through free-verse prayer renderings of their poems and hymns—as a guide to personal devotion and meditation.

The church has always used the Psalms as part of its prayer life, and they have inspired countless other prayers. This book contains 75 prayers drawn from Psalms 1-75, providing lyrical sketches of what authors Ryan Smith and Dan Wilt have seen, heard, and felt while sojourning in the Psalms. Each prayer is a response to the Psalms written in harmony with Scripture. These prayers help us quiet our hearts before God and welcome us into a safe place amid the storms of life.

This artful, poetic, and classic devotional book features compelling custom illustrations and foil-stamped hardcover binding, offering a fresh way to reflect on and pray the Psalms.