Yesterday I was in a meeting while the 46th Presidential Inauguration was going on so, unfortunately, I was not able to watch it. In addition to well-wishes and prayers for President Biden, three things were buzzing around social media. First, this great country of ours has the first Black and South Asian woman Vice President in office. Regardless of what side of the aisle one finds themself, it is remarkable to see the progress this country has made in 244 years of existence.
Secondly, Lady Gaga’s dress, which I proudly admit, my younger brother Daniel, Maison’s creative director for the couture fashion house Schiaparelli in Paris, designed. In a text he sent earlier that morning, he said, “Dearest family, I hope you are all tuning into the inauguration. If you see a certain Lady Gaga wearing a navy jacket, a red skirt, and a huge golden dove of peace brooch, you will know she’s in a custom Schiaparelli haute couture. We are not sure if she will wear it. Many designers sent custom things in competition. Fingers crossed.” To our excitement but not to our surprise, Lady Gaga looked stunning in his dress.
The other thing was the poet Amanda Gorman’s beautiful poem, titled “The Hill We Climb.” I have to admit, I have been mesmerized and enamored by her poetry. It was not just the mastery of the written language she commanded, but the heart and intent behind every word revealing the dark chapter this country has been living in, all the while proclaiming a hopeful prophecy that, “When the day comes, we step out of the shade aflame and unafraid. A new dawn looms as we free it, for there is alway light if only we are have enough to see it if only we are brave enough to be it.”
I cannot be encouraged enough with the words she writes and truly hope and pray this broken country will take to heart what we’ve heard, but I have to remind myself that there is no reconciliation and unity without truth-telling. There is no healing without repentance and grace. Changing presidents does not change our issues. It just changes the mirror that we’ve used to see ourselves. While a new president takes office with all of us hopeful of reconciliation and peace, the concern is that we stop the difficult work that needs to be done.
Gorman talked about “The Hill We Climb” and that America is an unfinished work and I am reminded of the hill our Lord and Savior climbed with the words he said, “It is finished.” His work of salvation, hope, unity, compassion, and love is finished in him and our calling as lovers of Christ is to be an example of his work and allow His light to shine in every aspect of our lives. For the poet is right, “There is always light!”