The blubbering Hall of Presidents

Well, I wasn't exactly blubbering.  It was more of a faint trickle down the outside corner of my eye.  The left eye to be exact, and I only remember because my curious daughter was sitting there when she caught sight of the tear that I was trying to hide.  It was moments later that she loudly questioned, "Are you crying?"  It was too dark in the theater for me to see her eyes roll, and I was glad because that also meant that no one could see the blush on my cheeks.  I happily ignored her by pretending I was enthralled with the animatronics show.

It was a fair question, I think.  After all, how many people actually get emotionally involved with The Hall of Presidents in Disney World?  If you've never been there, I'll tell you that it is not something most people (just me?) cry over.  It goes through the history of the United States and highlights the most notable leaders of our country.  I was doing well until they came to Abraham Lincoln.

Larger than life pictures of the Civil War played across the screen while a voice offered quotes from our 16th President.  All the while I was thinking how difficult his position must have been.  Our country was divided, and he had to decide if he would fight for what he believed in or continue a life of anonymity.   I'm sure he must have had doubts as the war carried on and the death toll began to rise.  He must have agonized over the emptiness that was evident in the eyes of the mothers who lost their sons; the wives who lost their husbands.  Perhaps he thought about the sacrifice that he was asking of his own family.  I'm sure that I would have as I laid sleepless in my bed night after night while the weight of the world pressed down on my shoulders.

"The probability that we may fail in the struggle 
ought not to deter us 
from the support of a cause we believe to be just."

And yet he believed in a cause greater than himself.  He did not know what would result from his sacrifice, and the resulting suffering of others.  He could not know which side would win.  He only knew that he had been given a purpose to stand against injustice.  In the end it would cost him his life.

So I sat in the darkness of the theater, and cried over Abraham Lincoln.  Not because he died, but because he lived.  He lived his life with purpose, not for his own gain, but for others.  He answered the call of God, and gave his life away.

It all seems so gloriously brave and heroic now that it has been removed by so many years, but I tend to think that the truth of living through a battle feels more like loneliness and fear.  He did it anyway.

I think about my children, and a lump grows in my throat right before it starts to ache.  I see how they are all wonderful in their unique ways.  They express themselves so differently, so beautifully; all reflections of a good and loving God.  And I understand that God has made them this way for his purpose and plan. (I do not waver in my belief that it is true for you too!  And me.)  In these moments of remembering, I pray that they will listen to his call and have the strength and courage to give their life away.

Matthew 10:39 - If you cling to your life, you will lose it, but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.


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