Room to be a part of history

Matt, Lauren and I drove around Washington, D.C., today. We wanted to see and be part of a moment of history in the making.

Inauguration preparations decorated D.C. I've never seen so many police cars, temporary fences, fur coats and lines of port-a-potties near the National Mall. Crowds of pedestrians clogged major intersections. We didn't mind since it gave us a chance to snap photos.

Tomorrow, when even larger swirls and streams of pedestrians are let loose in Washington, Lauren and I plan to be a pair of specks among the many, perhaps millions, who are drawn to the area and the moment.

This week large screens flank and festoon areas near the Washington Monument and the Capitol grounds. Not everyone will see Obama's inauguration in person tomorrow. Many will look toward one of those large screens as, simultaneously, millions of others witness the events in homes, businesses, and on palm-held devices around the world.

Why will people stand in the cold tomorrow to watch history as it unfolds? Maybe we want to be some small part of history. You may ask, couldn't we do that anywhere? Maybe we don't want someone else to go alone. Crowds can be scary. Maybe we'll be there because we can. Why not? Many reasons will draw people to the D.C. area or to a screen for a glimpse of tomorrow's historic 56th Presidential Inauguration.

Today's preparations reminded me of another event I hope to see. As we waited at a red light and watched Garth Brooks' performance from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on a large screen, I thought of how technology connects us to current and historical events in ways that were once impossible.
Someday, Scripture promises us, every eye will see Christ's return. What a moment of just and meaningful change that will be. I don't care where I stand or kneel when I see it. There will be room for each of us to stand as equals in the dignity and freedom of God's love.

Until that time, other moments of history welcome our involvement.

How about you? Would you brave crowds or cold to feel part of a historical moment? Why?

Photo Credits: Lauren Hecht, 2009, used with permission

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