If Only…

We rejoice, Mr. President that you are safely tucked in now and through the ages with God’s loving arms around you.
~ Former Secretary of State James Baker

There were so many poignant moments as the 41st President of the United States, George H.W. Bush was laid to rest. Like millions of Americans, I was first moved to tears watching Senator Bob Dole muster every bit of his remaining strength to rise from his wheelchair to salute his fellow war hero and former political foe. The tears returned as the President was eulogized, culminating with his son, President George W. Bush overtaken by emotion as he called his dad, “The best father a son or daughter could ever have.”

My thoughts raced to two summers ago, when, in a small Charlevoix, Michigan church, I bid farewell to my father-in-law who, like the President, trained as a Navy pilot on the Great Lakes and, like President Bush, was a kind, decent man who lived each day to the fullest with honesty and integrity. Each passing day, The Greatest Generation is fading before us and it’s heartbreaking. It feels like our very foundation is crumbling beneath us.

Something else filled my thoughts as I watched history unfold. For the most part, the country pressed pause on the political rhetoric and the ugly in-fighting. America is the greatest country on earth, but she’s only exactly what she should be in times of grief. It was remarkable to see us yield to the Almighty. The music, the majesty, God’s Word echoing first from the nation’s spiritual home, The Washington National Cathedral and again the following day at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston, Texas. Even my friend, who claims to be an atheist said, “There’s no denying the solace of the faith. It’s one of the beautiful things about it.”

The solace of the faith, by His grace, is available to us all. If only…

Historian Jon Meacham said President Bush was an imperfect man who left us a more perfect union. For a few short hours, I wondered what could be if we all turned to the perfect One to replace all we’re losing.

If only…

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