On this crisp Philadelphia morning, Independence Hall sparkles up ahead in the sunlight. The air is fresh, and visitors are quietly buzzing about the history made here. Even waiting in the winding line to see the Liberty Bell is pleasant.
One hundred eighty degrees from this hopeful walk is the trudge we’re all on toward November 8. Fatigue set in several months ago, and has given way to all out weariness. We’re tired of listening, tired of arguing, tired of walking to an end that will inevitably leave at least half the nation unsatisfied, and maybe angry.
But in Philadelphia on a bright October morning, my husband, Chris, and I found hopeful people. Perhaps it’s the reminder that the people who gathered at Independence Hall 240 years earlier to sign first the Declaration of Independence and, later, the U.S. Constitution, fought for something larger than themselves—a truly free society, a democracy that embraced good for all while also committing itself to invaluable individual liberties.
For Christian visitors to Independence Hall, the hope here is undoubtedly tied to the belief that, while flawed, the founding fathers were largely men of faith. People for whom “under God” meant God governed both the world as it was, and the new nation taking shape in Philadelphia.
There is hope across the street too, where a historical placard explains that the Pennsylvania Bible Society was founded there in 1808. The Bible society—America’s first—was established to make Scripture accessible and affordable. That this building is so close to Independence Hall is reason to believe that among those who founded America were people who understood the truths of the Bible, and believed them to be foundationally important.
This election cycle hasn’t been big on hope. A recent Gallup poll found less than a third of Americans believe the election process is working like it should.
But the sunshine illuminating Independence Hall is a reminder that light shines brightest in the darkness, and that God brings hope where there is none.