My firm grasp of the English language notwithstanding, I often have a difficult time putting my feelings into words. Trying to do so often feels like trying to describe the taste of salt without using the word “salty,” and the result rarely feels adequate.
Even so, it would be wrong of me to let August 28, 2010 pass by unmentioned, because it was a day that marked a profound change in me.
I was not one of the hundreds of thousands of people who gathered in Washington, D.C. to participate in the rally. Though I dearly wished to be a part of it, it would have required a miracle to make it possible, and I am not now at a point in my life where I can demand personal miracles of God. My miracle that day was a shared one — the miracle of being able to watch an event as it was happening on the other side of the country.
I’d say I woke up early to watch, but that wouldn’t be accurate, as I couldn’t sleep at all the night before. So I sat up, and half an hour before the rally started I logged in to Facebook to start the live feed. I was not alone in this; more than 10,000 other people had the same idea. I had suspected that mere tissues would be inadequate, and was proved right when the rally started. I had a towel handy instead, and it served me well.
The speeches and music were moving and uplifting; the sheer goodness of both those on stage and those in the crowd was palpable, stretching the thousands of miles between Washington and little me, alone on my couch in the early hours of the day. By the end of the rally, I found myself no longer so much regretful at not having been there as I was profoundly grateful that I, along with over 125,000 others on Facebook alone, was able to participate at all.
The spin and the outright lies started up right away, as we knew they would. The event was preceded by wild claims of malicious intentions, and possibly the end of the world, by people who clearly had no idea what they were talking about. After the rally, the stories were mainly gross underestimates of the crowd, as well as a massive exercise in groupthink in which “reporters” repeatedly indicted the crowd for being “mostly white,” mainly because that was the only potentially offensive thing that the crowd had done — or, rather, been. (Nice to know that those JournoList contact sheets haven’t gone to waste.) Apparently the irony of seeing nothing but the color of the majority of the crowd (hint: it’s also the color of most of the U.S.) at a rally on the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech was lost on these people.
Ordinarily things like this would have me spitting mad. I admit, it was a rather rude awakening when I initially found out that America’s “trusted” media sources were not to be trusted at all, and I found myself seeing red at all of the injustices I had wakened to. “How could they do this?!” was my common refrain, and no matter how many times it was calmly explained to me our “fourth branch” of government is largely populated with Alinskyites, it rankled. So imagine my surprise when, upon hearing all the nonsense spouted by media types in the aftermath of the Restoring Honor rally, my dominant emotion was not ire. It was amusement. Wry amusement.
Something clicked into place on Saturday, and solidified its position in my head even further the next three days — it doesn’t matter. More specifically, they do not matter. If people want to lie, to libel, to slander, to write and report the things they wish had happened rather than the things that did … well, that’s their lookout. Sooner or later the lies will get so ridiculous that no one will believe them anymore. That much has started already. Our revered Fourth Estate have sold their credibility for a mess of pottage that is heavy on the mess and lean on the pottage. The 8/28 rally could not have possibly made it any more clear that “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” as the line between the two sides was thrown into stark relief. This struggle is not about parties; it is about being able to choose how to live our own lives in whatever way we see fit, and allowing each of our fellow human beings that same courtesy.
Make no mistake — my change in attitude is not one of becoming apathetic. Far from it. 8/28 strengthened, at least doubled, my resolve to fulfill whatever role it is that God has for me here. My change in attitude is rather the result of seeing clearly, even second hand, where true strength lies, and the stark weakness of the self-storied “giants” of our time. Some people would call this “getting perspective.” Those people are correct. What others say about or against me does not define me, it defines them. And all the slings and arrows of the world are of little use if I stand where God tells me to stand.
Thank you, Glenn. I, too, will pick up my stick.