This month begins with the divisive furor that is the Election of 2016 and ends with the reflective respite of Thanksgiving Day. In like a lion, out like a lamb. Or so we hope. Chances are good that families gathered around Thanksgiving Dinner will be drawn once again into bitter political debates even though the election is over. Wiser families may agree to avoid the subject altogether. Whether our next president is Ms. Clinton or Mr. Trump, half of the nation will still be upset by Thanksgiving about the results, and many will not see the election as legitimate. Seeds of suspicion have been scattered broadly. Angry rhetoric has brought our national discourse to new lows. Careless accusations have tarnished many a reputation. Our nation needs healing. Our nation needs a great physician. Our nation needs mercy. Our nation needs the truth.
In 1863, to a divided nation, President Abraham Lincoln issued that famous proclamation:
” I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.”