Reagan's Hope in God


The commemorative activities mounted in behalf of Ronald Reagan were meaningful, thoughtful, and instructive - meaningful because we were reminded once again of the decency of the man and its possibility in others, thoughtful because they bespoke the appreciation of the nation for him, and instructive in that we were reminded again of the evil in this world that can and must be fought, sometimes even on its own terms, if there is to be an American way of life, primarily translated as freedom or the right to pursue honorable ends through using honorable means. No one is or ever has been "larger than life," but, while he was no exception to that fact, Reagan came close. The nation has a tendency to go overboard with respect to such observances, and perhaps many think that was the case this time, but never has a set of activities been more tastefully conceived and carried out - or more deserved.

Notwithstanding the importance and precision of the military/civil approaches in the process, it can be arguably concluded that the greater impact had to do not so much with their earthly aspects as with their almost laser-like focus on God, and that as especially channeled through Jesus Christ and his redemptive work. The entire proceedings were rife with allusions to the Almighty, in the vocal and instrumental music, the spoken word, and the civil/religious salutes. Perhaps the most poignant of all these expressions, however, was not found in the most eloquently or most intricately performed, but in the simplest, namely, the playing of many simple hymns and gospel songs during and especially after the service itself - until almost midnight, Eastern Time. These were the hymns of faith that permeated the world of the youthful Ronald Reagan and doubtlessly, in conjunction with that for which they stood, contributed greatly to the shaping of the man. They sang of life on earth, but they also sang of life in the hereafter - they sang of hope. Because of this phenomenon, it can rightly be said that the commemoration of Ronald Reagan was actually a service of worship to his God.

Ode To Death

You think I do not know you there,
Or that you must be everywhere,
Or that with me you soon will share
A destiny not quite so rare?

You mock my contemplative bent
As if to me you have been sent
By Satan...yes...that I recant
My vow that you are not extant.

You scorn my apprehensive bent
As hypocritical lament,
Insisting that my vow is cant,
But knowing well man's mortal slant.

You claim to be the end of me,
That you someday will make me see
That from your grasp I cannot flee
And forthwith never then be free.

But do you err upon this score,
Not knowing that what you ignore
Lies quite beyond the gone-before,
And quite beyond the grave's closed door?

You think I do not know you there,
Or that you must be everywhere?
Oh no...I will pass through your door,
And then depart forevermore.