HOPE IN 1865 – HOPE IN 2020
JUNE 3 is an important date. June 3, 1865, was the date for the Battle of Cold Harbor, Virginia, as part of the Civil War (155 years ago). June 3, 2020, is the date when there are battles in USA cities (today). Both are battles within the same country by its citizens.
Throughout almost 250 years of USA history, hope has been the anchor to get us through trials, divisions, destruction, death, pandemics, and wars. History can and should be a great teacher; past mistakes should help us but only if we listen and act.
For example, let’s look at the Cold Harbor, Virginia battle. Led by Robert E. Lee and General Ulysses S. Grant, both the Confederate and the Union troops were determined to win in this civil battle near Richmond, Virginia. The outcome? In the first hour, 7,000 Union soldiers were dead; after the 12-day war, a total of 13,000 of the Union and 2,500 of the Confederates were dead. At the height of civil anger, death took its toll.
Today anarchy seems to be rampant throughout US cities. Many are speaking out. Angry, frustrated citizens. Civil unrest. Even bitterness and hate. Protests. Division among the people of our great nation is perhaps at an all-time high.
As I considered what should be the outcome today, my “what-if” game raised these scenarios:
- What would presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln tell us to do?
- How about the advice of antislavery statesmen Harriet Tubman, or Frederick Douglass, or Martin Luther King?
- More pointedly, what would Jesus’ counsel our nation to do?
- And more personally, how will we seek to bring hope today?
As for me, I cannot forget the many men and women of all races who have given their lives for our freedom, to make a better world.
As for me, I cannot become racist because all lives truly matter. We are one nation under God, seeking justice and equality for all.
As for me, I cannot leave out my own prayers to God for this nation. He is our true source of hope, our solid anchor.
As for me, I cannot give in to frustration, bitterness, nor hate. Why? Whatever color, all are precious in God’s sight; Jesus died for all. I choose to love and give acts of love one person at a time. Will you join me? And, as it is being said, we can and we will do better!