It was 50 years ago today that I walked out of my third/fourth grade classroom. The buses were lined up at the curb of our small school in Northford Connecticut. As I was walking down the hall I met my teacher Mrs. Clapp in the hallway. Tears were in her eyes. She grabbed my shoulders gently and said “The President has been shot.” It was a long ride home. Not that long later the President of the United States had died in Dallas.
I was 8 years old. I cried for days. I remember sitting in our country home’s kitchen with my mom and dad both crying and I was sobbing. Like most of the nation we watched the black and white TV screen showing everything about this young president, John F. Kennedy. Like so many others we just could not believe it. Because it was a weekend (He was shot on Friday.) there was no other calling. Our small family sat around the TV.
There was no internet (Al Gore was not around yet.) and there were no cell phones. The nation watched on TV’s across the nation or listened to the history being made by AM radio. Hardly a one does not remember that fateful day. Where they were, what they were doing.
I cried as I watched “John boy” salute his father at a mass on Monday. What would I do without my father?
We were a nation in crisis. The blindfolds had been ripped off and the results not pretty. My generation had real enemies we faced and good and bad were easy to discern. We were not inundated daily with horror and desensitized by death, blood and mayhem.Our nation lost her innocence that day.
I fully recognize we can not “go back” but I do sense a growing momentum of innocence restored. I think many things we though could never happen are happening. In one fell swoop an iron curtain fell. In one short moment a veil was torn and revealed the beauty of the One we call Jesus.
There is a restoration of goodness being brought to our nation’s shore. The innocence of a people has been declared by a righteous One. Systems of darkness and disbelief are being shattered daily. The mind of Christ is coming forth.
The question I have for you is just as a nation lost its innocence, will you remember THIS DAY as a day of declared innocence through a bloodied cross, a barren tomb? For it is not a nation but a people that is restored.
50 years is the year of Jubilee. There is a Jubilee shout in the land. Just watch. HE has turned your mourning into dancing.