Wednesday, June 5, 1968, began at the usual time. I went to the kitchen and turned on the morning news. A few minutes later I told Kay, "He died."
I was much more of an observer of the 1960s than a participant. We were busy starting a family and scratching out a living. There were a lot of life-shattering things going on in those days, though. The assassination of Robert F. Kennedy on that June day in 1968 came at a particularly bad time in our history and simply added fuel to a fire which was consuming our nation. We had endured the death of a President, protests against the war in Viet Nam were becoming news, and the Civil Rights movement led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was reaching a climax which would be followed by riots from Watts to Washington. But, in all of this it always seemed to me the greatest waste was the assassination of Bobby Kennedy.
The President of the United States, as President Kennedy himself had said, knows he is a target of some fanatic wanting to be famous. Dr. King prophesied repeatedly his own martyrdom. Both knew this was part of the price leadership paid. But, at the time of his death Bobby was just one of several candidates running for the Democratic nomination. He was killed simply because he was unfamiliar with someone's particular problems.
What follows here is neither an endorsement of nor recommendation for any candidate by either this blogger or The Brazil Times. It is simply the prayer request of someone old enough to remember the national pain we call the 60s. For months, perhaps a year, I have been burdened for the physical safety of Senator Barrack Obama. Never before in America's history have we had a candidate for President so vulnerable to personal attack. While it is true we have come a long way since 1968, it is also still true that in this the year of our Lord 2008 there are those who would harm a man simply because of the color of his skin.
Personally I don't know how our nation would deal with one more national catastrophe right now; particularly a senseless, wasteful one. We have too much going on.
They say each of us finds God in our own way, praying to that God in their own manner. There are those who say prayer works, and those who say God's purposes are immutable. It's not for me to say who is right about all that. Neither do I know whether it is God's will Obama should be President or not. I don't pretend even to know whether he'd be a good one or poor. But I do believe he needs God's protection, because it is tied so closely to our nation's protection. So I request whatever influence you may have with the Almighty be used to seek the welfare of those running for America's highest office. And, it would be all right, too, if when praying you want to throw in something about the war, the economy, or any of the other insurmountable problems a President faces.
David L. Lewis is an observer of and sometimes commentator on life who may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.