Not too long ago, watching David Gregory interview the President on Meet the Press , I was struck not by the President’s words or the topic – but his manner. Low key, matter-of-fact. Not carefully crafted rhetoric type speech (though I don’t doubt that it was carefully crafted to appear not so.) Still, down-to-earth & willingly explanatory. To me, this seems significant, big time…My personal impression of the President’s manner of speaking was confirmed by one of the panelists, Presidential historian & author of Team of Rivals: the Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, Doris Kearns Goodwin. Her first response to Mr. Obama’s words was that she noticed a change in his style: “I thought he spoke in a different tone today, more conversational…he’s learned from that first term where he was arguing with– to explaining things. He talked simply in this thing. He talked conversationally.”
So, I didn’t imagine it. And I was very aware of that today also (January 14, 2013), watching his news conference televised on FOX 29. Maybe this shift in style is something as basic as, he won re-election & the heat is off, he’s undeniably Chief and can relax more in this secured position. Or maybe the shift represents as well a thoughtful change in his approach to We, the People…
My animosity towards this man, over the past 4+ years, has probably contributed no small part to the stress level in my life, as well as some physical ailments. It is a RELIEF to watch & listen to not only Barack Obama but many others with a more open mind. (Bi-partisan?) Not looking at certain ones through shades of resistance & hostility allows me, to my cautious surprise, to realize that maybe he/she is not the enemy…and, oh my, I think I actually see their point, and, uh, I think I agree with it.
And I’m also finding that some of those points are the same as certain suspicions nagging at the edge of my consciousness, concerning past issues & conversations, which I tried to ignore…but which I suspected held the truth. Certain apparently patriotic crusades & tirades sometimes struck me as extreme, too far left or right, even radical in a ‘your adversary the devil’ kind of way. It looks like I may have been headed towards the right track at times but thought I wasn’t!, and chose to stay off it! Well, Jesus said that even the very elect, if it were possible, shall be deceived…so, if ‘the elect’ could be led off-course, so could I…
I am not tossing the baby out with the bath water, nor leading the Barack Obama parade with banners & balloons. Believe me, I am not. I want to be careful here in this transitional place. Very careful. But the Scriptures tell us, in the thirteenth chapter of 1st. Corinthians, that loves believes all, hopes all. I sometimes wonder what that means, believes ‘all’…but this approach perhaps creates an open door to healing possibilities.
Yet, at the same time, we are also cautioned in these same Scriptures to “…judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts…” (1 Corinthians 4: 5)