We Know It

when we see it…

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Today’s way to help the people of Ukraine, as well as the neighboring nations welcoming the stream of 1.7 million refugees (so far) from Putin’s War, is AMERICARES. You can check it out on Charity Navigator.

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He knew loss.

His mother died when he was only 9.

His only sibling, an older sister, took care of him after their mother’s death. She was only 11, and she would die in childbirth 10 years later.

He knew deep grief.

Two of his sons died, Eddie, of TB, when he was only 4 years old, and Willie, of typhoid, at the age of 11.

His first love, Ann Rutledge, died at the age of 22.

He almost certainly dealt with what we now call clinical depression, sinking low enough at times to worry his friends that he might take his own life.

Abraham Lincoln, our greatest President, led this country through a Civil War he had hoped to avoid, costing the lives of 750,000 U.S. citizens

Lincoln, our most empathic President, clearly, carried the weight of the loss of the entire nation while he served.

If you have not already watched Abraham Lincoln, the 6-hour miniseries on the History Channel, it’s available on demand and it is outstanding!

Lincoln’s second inaugural address, delivered March 4, 1865. has been called “among the small handful of semi-sacred texts by which Americans conceive their place in the world;” it is inscribed in the Lincoln Memorial.

Just 5 weeks before his assassination Lincoln said: “With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan—to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.”

We – Americans – have felt as divided as we could be these past several years.

Yet, the events of the past week or so, in Ukraine, have reminded many of us what leadership looks like.

We’ve been reminded what unity looks like.

We’ve been reminded of moral and physical courage, what that looks like.

Make no mistake, America is still the hope of the world.

We are still the United States of America, and it is up to us, you and I, to change our rhetoric, to stop demonizing those who disagree with us and to grasp the other’s hand and begin to heal our wounds.

We’ve done it before. We can do it again.

We should not need an existential threat to remember this, but it has found us.

Luckily, we know leaders when we see them. They’re different from you and me.

We know what greatness looks like because we have seen it!

We know courage when we see it, and if we had forgotten, the stories out of Ukraine every day can remind us.

Why God has graced us with the leaders we have needed at our most critical times – George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt…Winston Churchill…Volodymyr Zelenskyy – we can only guess.

Lincoln wondered about God’s purpose too.

We can call it destiny. We can call it rising to the needs of the moment.

Whatever we call it, we should thank God Almighty that we see it again, just when we need it most.

Glory to Ukraine! Long Live the United States of America!

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