Several months ago, I was asked by Parade.com to contribute to an article by finishing this statement: “If I were elected president…” I want to repost it today as our country inaugurates a new President. May it serve as a timely reminder to pray for President Trump, Vice President Pence, our country and its citizens. — Max (article first appeared at Parade.com 9/9/2016)
Best I can guess from looking online, there are twelve steps from the door of the oval office to its desk. I’ve never been there. Doubt that I ever will. But if ever bequeathed the title “President of the United States” I have an idea how I would handle my first day in office.
I would, freshly sworn in as commander of the free world, enter the office, ask my secretary, Chief of Staff, Vice President, wife, and anyone else who wants to come in, to wait. Give me a few minutes, please. I’d close the door, take the dozen steps across the room, stand for just a millisecond behind the desk, and hit my knees.
With hands folded, head bowed, and heart open I would confess, “God, I don’t know how I got here. I don’t know how this happened. I don’t know what the voters were thinking…but I know this, if you don’t take over, we’re sunk.”
At that point I would present my prayer requests.
-heal the hurts of the land.
-stop the violence in this land.
-show us how to love each other.
-give us a second chance at caring for babies, hungry people, and mountain streams.
On and on I’d go. The secretary would buzz, but I’d tell her to wait. The Russian President would call, but we’d put him on hold. My VP would remind me that the parade awaits outside…but hold on, I’m not done yet.
Then, once the prayer was finished, once I’d confessed every fear and claimed every promise, I would rise to shaky legs and send out a decree. On Presidential stationery with my Presidential pen I would write: “By virtue of this office, I declare tonight to be ‘Let’s try it again night’.” I would ask, compel, invite, request, cajole, and recruit every person who has a kitchen table to invite someone over for dinner. Cook your best chicken or enchilada or chicken enchilada and, for one night, no arguing. Words like Democrat, Republican, liberal, and conservative are not allowed and, if used, will prompt an outpouring of mashed potato gravy in the lap of the person who says them. For one meal, for one night, we will listen to each other’s story before we tell our own. We will try to understand how we got so angry, so ticked off, so blasted mad, and, before the serving of the pie and ice cream, we will ask, “Can’t we try again?”
And, I would suggest that we do what I did– bow our heads and ask for help.
I know. Presidents don’t do those things or make such decrees. Then again, maybe they should.