Nights will fall—long, dark and dangerous—but the sun also rises. Ernest Hemingway’s title serves so well to describe the hopes of all of us today. On January 6, night fell at 4:45 p.m., ending an afternoon of rage, chaos and tragedy. Pent-up anger was nurtured by the lies and unfounded fears of elected leaders whose oaths assured us that they would tell the truth and protect the American people. Chaos was encouraged for months by a leader whose ego was nourished in proportion to the chaos he could create. Tragedy was the inevitable result.
Nightfall brought no resolution, no assurance that justice would be meted out to those responsible and little promise of a better day today. We went to sleep, some of us, in tears, afraid of what might lie ahead and with a fragile hold on the promise of calm and reason when we awoke. Our faith in the mercy and justice of our God was sorely strained, for we have waited so long for evidence that our prayers for our government and our country would bring mercy and justice.
Daylight broke at 7:19 a.m., a clear winter morn with a glorious sunrise in vivid shades of red, pink and purple. It was bitter cold, the trees were bare and the wind shook brittle branches with determination, but it was morning. The sun all but called out to us to get up, to begin again with hope renewed and confidence that somehow God could and would bring order out of chaos, just as he did on the first days of creation.
The Song of Solomon begins: “My beloved speaks and says to me, ‘Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away—the rains are over and gone—the season of singing has come . . .” ((2:10–13). I listen to the words of our president-elect and the acceptances of the newly nominated attorney general and two women who would serve with him. Truth and justice may have a chance after all; calm and reason may become reality. As we say each morning, “Out of God’s deepest mercy, a new day will come from on high, light for those shadowed by death, a guide for our feet on the way to peace.”