For Christians around the world, Jan. 6 is Epiphany. Sometimes called the “Day of the Kings,” Epiphany recalls the visit of the magi to the Christ child. It’s a holy day reserved for peaceful reflection and worship. But for most Americans, this day is a day we would rather forget. It’s a sad day for our nation.
The word Epiphany means “manifestation” or “an illuminating discovery.” As we watched the horrific images unfold in our nation’s Capitol we made an illuminating discovery. Our political divisions are deeper than most of us could have imagined. It is hard to believe that what we were watching on big screen televisions was taking place in a country that prides itself on law and order.
My thoughts raced back to my last visit to Washington, D.C., sixteen months ago. I had the privilege of chaperoning one of our assisted living residents who was a Korean War veteran. Together with other members of the Puget Sound Honor Flight delegation, Zip and I visited the World War 2 memorial, the Korean memorial and the Vietnam Memorial. We also spent a protracted period of time at the Lincoln Memorial.
As I digested the events of this unforgettable day, I couldn’t help but picture Mr. Lincoln seated on his marble throne. He faces the Washington Mall and the unrestrained rioting taking place at the U. S. Capitol Building. Imagining our revered leader viewing the chaos, I wrote…
From where Abe sits
he has an unobstructed view of our democracy.
The war memorials in his line of sight
picture the priceless cost of freedom.
The Washington Monument
elegantly points toward a God
who has repeatedly blessed our undeserving nation.
At the end of the mall
our beloved Capitol stands tall
shimmering in the sunlight
hovering over a nation
known by law and order.
But today our sixteenth President
winces in pain
as he witnesses a scene
familiar to other regimes
but foreign to our beloved land.
Insurrection some have called it.
A dereliction of civic duty and patriotic pride.
A disgrace unbecoming law-abiding citizens
who have forgotten their heritage and pledge.
Such wanton madness is applauded by extremists
and quietly supported by those who set the bait
and cowardly watch from palatial venues of power.
What Honest Abe sees causes him to weep.
Such a dishonest distortion
of First Amendment rights
is nothing short of wrong.
Lord, have mercy!
Guest columnist Greg Asimakoupoulos is chaplain at Covenant Living at the Shores in Mercer Island.