Good morning America! How was your slumber? You have been asleep awhile, stirring at times but never fully wakening as you are now.
You looked quite comfortable, wrapped in quilts made by tireless hands of past generations. Notice the beautiful patches of freedom stitched together with the veins of courageous predecessors. I am so glad it has made you comfortable, God forbid it inspire you.
Tell me, was it stroking of your fragile conscience which lulled you to sleep? Or were you soothed by the passive silence?
Perhaps your consciousness was put to rest by the lullaby crooning, “not your problem, pass it on...pass it on...pass it on”.
I have been watching you sleep, and now I watch you awaken. There are those few precious seconds in between slumber and consciousness where the days troubles cannot yet touch you and everything is okay. But there is no stopping the light of day and now you see clearly how far you have drifted from shore.
How sly the nature of calamity, creeping in as it did and wreaking havoc while your eyes were closed. I didn’t know it would come to this, you whine groggily. Yet years from now historians will trace the unforeseen causes which have brought it to this, and your grandchildren will shake their heads saying they must have known it would come to this.
I have been watching your closed eyes, and now I watch them open. You blink away the film which clouds your vision and now you are seeing. Chaos abounds, your eyes and energy do not know where to rest. Do you not remember the sleep-talk you uttered? You promised protection. You welcomed the huddled masses who now wander lost and exiled.
Perhaps your eyes were not closed, so much as turned inward.
You are fully awake now, and you panic. The time for laughter has passed; even the greatest comedians have realized jokes about cheeto-coloured skin only go so far and people once laughed at Hitler’s shrill voice and jerky motions. The desperate refugees being refused access to the promised land are not chuckling over tiny hands.
Indeed, you are falling apart. But America, be patient. Before you can be made great again, you must first be made humble. Empathetic. Kind. Thankful. You will be healed, not by time but by love. Your bones will be mended through intentional decisions of love over anger, love over violence, love over fear.
Fear lights firecracker revivals - breathtaking displays of passion which are brief and relatively inconsequential in nature. Change through love, on the other hand, is not dramatic or particularly striking. It is quiet acts of kindness and diligent consistency in friendship. It’s the age-old phenomena of putting someone else’s needs before your own. It is much, much more difficult. But whereas the voice of fear is thin and petulant, the voice of love is strong, clear and will not be silenced.
So America, do not go back to sleep! Do not turn back over and shut your eyes; long not for the ignorance of slumber. Now that you have awakened you will never sleep as peacefully as you once did. Let your feet touch the cold floor, throw open the blinds and allow the discordance in the streets to perturb you. Rise with the sun which struggles to break the horizon. For though it looks like the darkest of nights, the dawn is surely coming.