First, I saw (and read) this article.
I, too, am sick and tired of God bless America.
Not because I am against God’s blessing, but because when I hear politicians and others say those words they seldom sound like a blessing. Instead they sound like code for saying:
We are better than you.
Make us better than them.
Bless us first.
All of which is so fundamentally counter to what I know and believe about God.
Then, later in the day, a friend saw me in the post office and ask about my father who is dying.
As we parted, he said to me, “God be with you.”
His words hit home.
As I walk through these days with my father and my family that is what I need.
That is what my father needs.
God with us.
There is no making it better.
Only the Valley of the Shadow of Death.
But, even there…
Maybe even especially there…
Is where I, and we, need to be reminded of God.
As I let both of those moments,
Reading the article and post office blessing,
Sink in a bit deeper and be a part of my life,
I realized how much better one was than the other.
If we are serious about invoking God or reminding one another of God’s presence and promise,
God be with you is a much better blessing.