If I were to ask you what comes to your mind when you think of Washington D.C., what would you say?
The White House. Politicians. History. Overspending. Division. Patriotism. Marble monuments. Dinosaurs. Cherry Blossoms.
On the one hand, the area symbolizes all that has made our nation throughout history, all the best of pomp and circumstance in formalized ceremony and tradition. On the other, it also symbolizes blue and red states bickering my tax dollars away, Senators being tripped up in affairs, and bills weighted down with costly, wasteful pet side-projects just to push through the vote.
Yet, in these thoughts, both reminiscent and cynical, never does God enter the picture. I simply don't think "God" when I think of our nation's capitol.
If anything, I think of the national map's largest yellow star as God"less," a place that intentionally walls-out God in its insistence that separation of church and state means God-silence, God-invisibility, a check-your-God-at-the-door type mentality.
As if taking a scalpel and surgically separating the secular from the sacred is a thing possible.
It's like that 2003 movie Stuck on You about conjoined twins. When one twin wants to be an actor, the producers work to keep the other twin always out of the camera frame or use a blue screen so the computer can literally paint him out of the picture. But even with all this maneuvering, even when it appears that one is separate from the other, the two men are still conjoined.
The same is true of our nation's capitol. Try as they might to pretend God is not there, He is.
On my trip last month to D.C., I found God in the most unexpected of places--the interior of a cold, stone memorial. In the midst of hushed chatter that bordered on almost reverence, the sacred and secular came crashing together.
The words "The Altar of God" circled my head while the walls rang with Jefferson's quotations.
God. God. God. God. God is the great elephant in the room--in Congress, in the White House. Even when His name is not permitted to be invoked because of political incorrectness, what is in a person's heart still drives every decision. One's heart belief in God, in Allah, in Buddha, or in nothing--the heart will always show itself in its legacy.
Call it what you want, but a person's actions, when analyzed and studied, reveal what is of true importance, where one's allegiances lie.
There is no Wife Jennifer, Mom Jennifer, Teacher Jennifer.
There is no Saint Jennifer, Sinner Jennifer. Angry Jennifer, Loving Jennifer.
There is only me--one woman.
Try as I might to divide my life into segments, I am not foolish enough to believe that my heart and mind are not affected by all parts of me.
After all, when that day comes, the Saint, the Sinner, the Wife, the Teacher, the Mother, the Sister--they will all be placed in one hole in the ground beneath the shadow of a single marble slab.