I think I knew Barack Obama would be elected the 44th President of the United States at a moment during the Republican National Convention.
That moment came when Mitt Romney came to the stage to accept the nomination from the Republican Party as their candidate for President.
The set up was very different. He didn't just appear on stage. He came down the aisle - the way we see the POTUS during a State of the Union message - greeting and glad-handing and back-slapping all the way to the stage.
I had two thoughts. The first was that someone in the Republican Party was setting Romney up to look "presidential". The second was that someone in the Republican Party was giving Romney a little gift - the closest he would ever get to feeling and looking "presidential".
Either way, I'm sure someone figured that it couldn't hurt - and might help.
I knew then, in my bones, that Romney would lose.
I didn't think it would be an easy win for Obama, but I knew that the RNC knew that they had a candidate that simply wouldn't - couldn't - carry the day.
And, if the RNC didn't believe that their candidate would - could - win, neither did I.
Although I must say, I'm still shaking and weeping this morning. I knew Obama could win but, frankly, my anxieties about what I was hearing in terms of voter suppression and intimidation were through the roof.
I couldn't believe that the White House could be bought, but when you begin to understand that billions - BILLIONS - of dollars were spent to elect Mitt Romney, well.... I didn't really, fully doubt that Obama wouldn't win, but my faith began to be shaken.
When he won Pennsylvania and then Virginia - by a narrow margin - I knew Ohio and Florida wouldn't be far behind. I decided to go to bed and wake up in the morning hopeful - but not exactly certain - that he would win.
I had shut down my laptop and was getting ready to turn off the television when I heard that Obama had won. I literally fell to my knees and began shouting, "OhmyGod, OhmyGod, OhmyGod, OhmyGod!" I was trembling and weeping with surprise and delight and joy and prayers of thanksgiving.
This morning, I learned that Marriage Equality had passed in Maine and Maryland. While I'm still deeply insulted that marriage for LGBT people had to be put to a vote, I'm over the moon with joy at the final result.
I think I finally got to bed by 1:30. I had to hear Romney's concession speech to know it was true. I listened to a bit of Obama's acceptance speech and then I was ready for sleep.
As they say in Ghana, I slept like a foolish man. Deeply. Peacefully.
I'm wondering, this morning, how those who prayed so hard for Romney will feel about his loss. I wondered how Romney felt, coming so agonizingly close to victory. It's easy to fall into a belief about "God's will" - when things go our way. I don't hear too much of that when we are disappointed.
I found this quote this morning from Br. Kevin Hackett of the Society of St. John Baptist.
There is enormous danger for us, particularly in the United States, in appropriating the language of chosen people for our political identity. It is a national temptation with which we have struggled almost from the beginning. It is a legacy of the early European settlement of this land, and truthfulness on this point is slippery.It's also a biblical legacy. The victor was always seen as having "manifest destiny".
This victory wasn't fate. It was hard work. A political campaign fought hard and well won.
Forward! That was the campaign slogan. No, Obama didn't accomplish everything he had hoped to do in the first four years. He has four more years to work with an equally divided Congress. It's not going to be easy. That's why you and I have to work just as hard to move forward against the tide of a deeply divided nation.
We have to move forward on repealing DOMA. We have to work to put this nation back to work and reduce the debt. We have to continue to work for Reproductive Justice and equality for women in the market place. The Affordable Health Care Act will be implemented - but we all know that it is just the beginning. More work needs to be done.
We will get out of Afghanistan and we have to continue to work for peace in the Middle East and an end to terrorism. That will give us a good start on continuing to reduce the debt. And, we have two, maybe three Supreme Court justices to name to secure Roe v. Wade.
I'm thinking Hillary would make a wonderful Supreme Court judge, don't you?
And, we have to begin the work - now - on the election slate for 2016. It's not too soon.
Right now - just for today - I'm going to take some time to let the reality sink in. President Obama has four more years. And, so do we.
Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God!