It’s as if they have lost something.
They filled the stadium in Denver, some 80,000 of them, and lights danced on their faces and they listened to the music of popular musicians, and they held their signs, and showed their smiles, and their exuberance flowed through the screens of televisions, and it was almost infectious.
The stage was built to mirror the architecture of ancient wisdom and democracy, and the stage, the blue stage, looked like the color of the world’s most famous office. And then he appeared.
He walked into the moment, into the charge, and the stadium with the thousands erupted into a climactic and communal experience. They have come to see their deliverer.
They would not stop their applause, their emotions overflowing, and he stood there, with what seemed to be a look of almost sheer terror, as though this notion, this idea, this race, was almost too big, even for him. And the grandiosity of the stage, and the thousands of people, made him look so very, very small, and I had the passing thought that this great idea to stage him in such a large venue with such common and enduring symbolism should have been given more thought.
But that is all pomp. There are plenty political statements to be made. And he made them, without shame. This deliverer decided to use his stage, and his moment, to use biting words, attackful words, that played to the crowd, and the more he delivered his diatribe, the louder the voices became.
And I feel sorry for each of them.
For the entertainers, who were needed to help fill the oversized arena, and for their songs, their petty, momentous songs.
For the politicians who were asked to speak, needing and craving the high of the moment.
For his one-time political rivals, who wished the stage bore their name instead.
And for the people who felt the need to venerate a mere man.
That’s all he really is. Place his record aside. Place his issues aside. Forget his agendas. Forget even the controversies. He is just a man. A man in a seemingly excitable moment. But he is just a man. He cannot solve the myriad of problems his followers endure. And surely, no man can solve the problems of some three hundred million people.
And to what does this lend any conventional thought? We are known as a nation where most hold some type of belief in God, with some type of guided and consistent morality. At least that is our learned reputation. But this idea that we can put all thoughts of faith to the side to almost worship one man — this smacks at the core of who we think we really are.
These people, these 80,000 strong have gathered together, amidst the lights and the sounds and the exuberance, to place this man and his ideals above all else. And when they go to their places of worship, and offer their sacrifices of time and money and praise, I can only imagine how God must feel to know that these people may have so misplaced their faith — that these people have taken a part of their dependence on God, and placed it on the shoulders of just a man.
How will God accept their songs? What does he think when he hears them offer prayers for this one man to save their troubled country? Once, God saved a great and large group of people from oppression, only to hear their cries to be returned to slavery. And God met their demands and complaints with a generation of wondering and purging for the very people he liberated.
So as these people, these 80,000, wash themselves in this contemporary moment, beneath the lights and the celebration and the hope they now place into the hands of just one man, and as their fascination grows with the cacophony of applause and emotion, I can only spend time in prayer, that in some way, they can find the only one that can really save them.