On our recent trip west, we were awed by the beauty of our national parks. We fell into bed exhausted each night with little time to catch the evening news. However, we were well aware of the political situation that dominates the airwaves these days. Katherine Lee Bates’s prayerful poem “America the Beautiful” ran continually through my mind, leading me to pause to pray for this country even as I admired the beauty of its scenery.
America! America! May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness,
And ev’ry gain divine!
After our return I watched the second presidential debate—a couple very “successful” people modeling anything but nobleness. We are sick of the mudslinging and shamed by the lies. May this not set a precedent for future campaigns. But our celebrity-obsessed culture lets the “successful” get away with anything. The question was asked at the beginning of the debate, “Knowing that educators are tying the presidential debates to student homework, do you feel you are modeling appropriate and positive behavior for today’s youth?” The candidates had no real answer.
What has happened to this country that wealth is sought without regard for godliness and where celebrity counts for more than character? Although I am disgusted by the political arena of this election, I don’t blame the candidates as much as their supporters who have indicated that truth and integrity (or its lack) won’t affect their vote. Our gold is desperately in need of refining. The refinement of precious metals happens only in great fire, but without that divine refinement our supposed success will end in tragic failure. May God have mercy!
Martin Luther King, Jr, had a dream. I have a prayer—for goodness and brotherhood.
O Beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam,
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!
(For more thoughts on "America the Beautiful" see yesterday's post. For a much lighter look at our journey west, including lots of pictures, see my travel blog, Wide-eyed Wanderer. Use the archive in the right sidebar to find entries from September and October 2016.)
LeAnne Hardy has lived in six countries on four continents. Her books come out of her cross-cultural experiences and her passion to use story to convey spiritual truths in a form that will permeate lives.
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