02/19/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Inauguration Day Invocation for President Obama

Like many of you, I grew up wondering if my generation would have its Kennedy. Born in the shadow of the legend of the man, I arrived in a year when the country was still grieving JFK; still blissfully innocent of his assassination as the glancing blow against an iceberg of crushing loss yet to come. I could only go by the stories and hear the tales from generations before me about what an energized, young, inspirational President was like. By the time I was old enough to understand a presidential speech or see one on TV, Nixon was being impeached.

I sadly admit, in the decades that followed it just seemed like one slightly older or slightly younger white guy after the next was running the country. I couldn't identify with any of them, I certainly wasn't proud of, motivated, or inspired by them, and over the years I stopped wondering and very nearly stopped believing that the system would, or even could, change.

Until now. Until time and destiny caught up in the last year, matured me to the same age as presidents and kings and brought us Barack Obama. Finally, I -- we -- got our Kennedy and I understood the spontaneous 1960 Peace Corps sign-ups and party loyalist defections. I understood the wistful memories, undying passion and tears for a man that endured lifetimes beyond his own.

Most of all, we "got it" at the same time, creating the vision foreshadowed by the inspirational leaders of the 1960's in order to make manifest what Dr. King, the Kennedys, and others dared to dream. I had naively hoped yet slowly forgotten and finally, barely allowed myself to imagine whether that day of manifestation would ever come -- or come in my lifetime. It seemed utopian at best. And now, just as incredulously, it seems surreal that that day is today.

On this historic of historic days, for this watershed moment which has marked itself as both synchronistic and sacred by its coincidence with and proximity to others of similar caliber I humbly congratulate Barack Obama on his victory and proudly call him my President, our President, the President of the United States of America.

President Obama, I wish you

• Conviction in the face of doubt
• Clarity in the face of confusion
• Wisdom in the face of ignorance
• Comfort when you are weary
• Loyalty in the face of opposition
• Persistence in the face of challenge
• Steadfast confidence in the face of blunders
• Peace in the face of war
• Courage in the face of fear
• Sage counsel in the face of indecision
• Humility in the face of pride
• Divine inspiration at a moment's notice
• Limitless optimism and abundance
• The unconditional love of family (and puppy)
• And above all, blessings from the world over

Thank you for the daring, fortitude, faith and courage to brilliantly shine your authentic light and in so doing, illuminate the way for and ignite the hearts of us all.