While watching the Inauguration Ceremonies on the big screen in the Nave of the Cathedral, I saw a sign. It said simply Wow. No exclamation. No wild and wiggly lines. Just Wow.
Wow. In its seemingly understated way, that Wow said everything.
January 20, 2009, Inauguration Day, started at the Cathedral on Saturday afternoon, January 17. The staff had already set up the big screen and put it off to the side where it could wait patiently until it was time to put it to use. By Sunday afternoon, because of some special people, the projector, converter, antenna, sound and lights were figured out, plugged in and ready to go.
On Tuesday morning, we arrived bright and early and made sure everything was still set. People began filing in, one by one. By 9 am, even with the cold and the bit of snow, we had 37 people joining in for the prayer service. It was a wonder-filled service complete with a joy-filled hope.
The televised Inaugural Service was no less amazing. Some had to return to work but more came in until there were at least 52 people in the Cathedral watching in anticipation. If it was remarkable for no other reason, being able to witness in community the fact that there were hundreds of thousands of people gathered in, on and around the Mall in Washington, D.C. was nothing short of phenomenal. What pain must a nation, even a world, be in to pay homage to one small human being?
Throughout the day, people wandered in to watch the parade, to sit and pray, to just sit and dare to hope. Some were our neighbors seeking shelter from the 20+ degree cold; others were people from downtown. Perhaps the light that comes from hope was beaming through our open doors!
As we watched this event unfold, holding our breath in fear, trying to keep our hope in check simply because this one small human is just that – a human – still, I felt that peace that passes all understanding as it wrapped itself around me like a protective cloak. Even though things may get tougher for a while, we are headed in the right direction.
I think that the same can be said for the Cathedral at this time, also. Even though I know that things are going to get very personal and tough for a time being, I think that we are heading in a Godly direction.
As with this nation, so it is with us in this community – “All manner of things will be well.”