Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Great Night

I lived in a sundowner town when I was a small boy. This means that if you were black, you couldn't be within the city limits after sundown. Blacks lived literally across the tracks. I remember inviting a black friend to my 7th birthday party, only to have a kid from church drop the "n" bomb on him. I remember my parents and I going to his little apartment to apologize to his family.

My dad, a preacher, visited every room each week in the small hospital across the street from our house. He was the only white preacher who would pray with the black patients. When the black Baptist church dedicated a new building across the tracks, we were invited to come. As I remember it, we were the only white people there. My parents sang duets to an appreciative crowd. It was a very formative moment.

I remember vividly the day Dr. King was assassinated. I was devastated. He was one of my heroes and I cried when I heard the news. The civil rights movement provided much of the formative emotional backdrop of my life.

I could multiply these stories. Because of the courage of my parents, I have had a wealth of boundary crossing experiences along racial lines. To me, racial unity is a first fruit of the gospel. So, needless to say, beyond the policy promise of an Obama administration, I am ecstatic that we have voted an African-American to the highest office in our land.

Tonight I watched the returns with African friends who are colleagues in my PhD program. They had no words to express what it meant to them that the US would elect an African-American. We witnessed history tonight, a game changer not only for our nation, but for the world community. May God's hand be on Barack Obama.

5 comments:

Redlefty said...

Amen. What great strides we've made in such a short time. I'm excited and hopeful to see the strides continue.

Doug said...

Amen and Amen!

Cheryl Russell said...

It was an emotional night.

zachyounkin said...

It's amazing to see.

I'm 19 years old, so I can't imagine what will happen in my lifetime...

Anonymous said...

Mark, this brought back many precious memories and made Tuesday night all the more sweet. Mom