Shattered Dreams

Like everyone from my generation, I remember where I was sixty years ago next week. This year it comes the day before Thanksgiving. As a charter member of the Baby Boomers, I was sitting in the school auditorium with a hundred or so classmates in our history class. Televisions were placed throughout the auditorium for a class with a public educational broadcast. As the TV host was talking about the violent nature of mankind, the camera focused on a model of a caveman with a club. Then the narrator stopped mid-sentence. The camera did not move. After a long pause he announced that a bulletin had just reported that the President had been shot. Immediately one of our teachers turned the channel to hear the report. We sat in disbelief. Finally the class bell rang and I went to last period, Latin. We talked about what was unfolding and waited together. Later the principal’s voice announced that President John F. Kennedy had died in an assassination in Dallas. Class ended and we all went home to a very surreal weekend. We wept through the night.

Like the generation before me who knew where they were when they heard about Pearl Harbor, or the generation after me of students watching with great expectancy the launch of the space shuttle Challenger carrying a school teacher into space, or this generation’s horror we call 9.11, we can close our eyes and still see the events unfold as if they were yesterday. This week I have been rummaging around in my memories of November 22, 1963. I have been reflecting on the unanswered questions of that day and the “what if’s” of shattered lives. Walter Cronkite, wiping his eyes with the telling of the news, mirrors our own grief in the retelling of these kind of events.

Now Thanksgiving Day is before us. The holiday season is already in full swing. For too many there is another empty chair at the table where once there was a loved one. We remember our own turning points of shattered dreams and anniversaries of pain that time really has not taken away. Dying is a part of living, but our stories do not stop with the tears. Living is hard on us, yet we are a people of hope and faith. We are loved with an everlasting love. No matter what has come, or what may come, God sees us through it!

Keep healthy. Pray mightily. Enjoy your life today.  Joy comes in the morning. And let’s experience the love and power of God together.

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