“Teach them to carry out everything…
and know that I am with you always…”
From Matthew 28:20
While going through boxes of mementos, I found a tiny plate just 5 inches in diameter. This antiquated bit of porcelain features a sketch of President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy. Though it isn’t fine artwork, it elicited a smile. I quickly recalled the enthusiasm of the early 1960s. Though I was only 9 years old and I didn’t know much about him, I cheered when JFK was elected. When Mr. Kennedy offered his inaugural speech, I learned something about his hope for the future. Our new president told us, “…ask not what your country can do for you-ask what you can do for your country.” I wondered what I could do.
Though in elementary school during JFK’s presidency, I clearly recall Khrushchev’s rants and our fear of communism. I remember the worry surrounding the Cuban Missile Crisis and our relief over its resolution. Though we fretted and prayed about such things, I felt safe. Then, on November 22, 1963, everything changed. 1036 days into his term, President Kennedy was killed by an assassin.
I think the eve of this sorrowful anniversary offers the perfect opportunity to respond to President Kennedy’s request. Regardless of our religious and political affiliations, we all have good reason to do something because our collective future truly depends on it. So it is that, today, I’m going to stop wondering what I can do. Today, I’m going to do my part to make this country one nation again.
Dear God, you know our imperfections better than we know them ourselves. Still, you place your trust in us to care for this nation, for this world and for one another. Be with us as we do something which illustrates that your trust is well-placed.
©2020 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved