On Friday afternoon I interrupted my sermon preparation in Reagan National Airport to gawk at the Trump plane making its way to the runway. Since I was heading home from ecoAmerica.org's Climate Leadership Summit, I found myself fantasizing about what I might tell Donald Trump if I were on his plane and he happened to ask me for "A word from the Lord" (clearly a fantasy!).
Rather than drilling Trump on climate change (my number one most pressing issue), or lecturing him on embracing diversity - be it religious, racial, or economic (my numbers 2-4 issues) - I found myself more interested in showing Trump a photo of my 22-year-old cat, Tamar.
The other day Tamar hobbled down to the basement and started meowing in front of her food bowl. Thinking she needed to be fed, I opened a can and made my way downstairs. Much to my surprise, Tamar's bowl was completely full. My wife had obviously just fed her. Nevertheless, Tamar paced back and forth in front of her bowl as if she were ravenously hungry and there was no food in her bowl.
I wondered if perhaps the food was bad or tainted in some way. Instead of rushing to judgment, I sat down on the stairs and observed as Tamar paced back and forth. As I watched, Tamar began pacing closer and closer to me. I reached out my hand and petted her for a few moments.
Petting Tamar did the trick. She purred loudly then walked straight over to her bowl and devoured every bit of food in it!
When I observe Donald Trump, I see someone who shares a lot in common with my cat. Neither Trump nor my cat would make good presidents. And while Trump may not be as old as Tamar is in cat years, his ideas are clearly past their prime. Further, Trump is someone who, like my cat, cannot seem to see the bounty the world has offered him because he lacks something which is less apparent and more important. Does Trump crave a little honest attention and love, like Tamar? Whatever it is, he clearly can't buy it or intimidate someone into giving it to him or he would have had it long ago.
So if I were on Trump's plane and he asked me for "a word from the Lord," I would ask him a question rather than make a statement. I'd ask Donald: What is it you lack that makes you seem so hungry while attending the world's largest banquet?
Come to think of it, this is a question I'd like to ask a lot of folks. Even myself.