Contrary to that tag above, this post is by my good friend and semi-frequent guest blogger, Cristina White, who steps in to save the blog from going a full three months with no update – and contributes wit and wisdom, to boot. Thank you, Cristina! Welcome back!
On August 23rd, there was an earthquake on the East Coast. Although the 5.8 trembler affected people and places from Georgia to Canada, most of the news coverage I saw centered on Washington, D.C. For many people in that city, the quake was a first time experience.
The day before the quake marked another first for our capitol — the first monument on the National Mall dedicated to an African American. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial is a massive granite sculpture inspired by a line from the Reverend’s “Dream” speech: “Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope.”
Was there some significance, I wondered, in this conjunction of events? Could an earthquake hard on the heels of this particular memorial mean that the mighty footprint of Reverend King would have an impact on our political representatives? Was it possible that the “stone of hope” would become real progress in Congress toward the common good?
I put the quake and the memorial together and dreamed this dream — that the spirit of Martin Luther King, all he believed in and stood for and worked toward — would shake our capitol and this Congress down to its roots, and the power of his vision would overwhelm the lobbyists and send a tremor through to the Republican soul. And in that shake up, we would actually see Republicans begin to work with Democrats to put people back to work and invest in our schools and in our nation.
That’s what I wanted this conjunction of the quake and the memorial to mean. Then along came Irene, and I found out that Michele Bachmann put the quake and the hurricane together and came up with another meaning: God is telling us to cut spending.
Maybe Bachmann’s conclusion differs from mine so completely because she didn’t figure the King Memorial into her equation. Or maybe it is simply that, as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, significance is in the mind, and political leaning, of the observer.
At the end of the day, I doubt that God is using natural or man-made events to talk to me or Michele Bachmann. The only difference between us is that my ruminations on the meaning of events are conversations I have with myself, while Michele Bachmann actually believes she’s getting messages from God. Just kidding.