All, Finally, Shall Be Well.

I wrote these words for my adult children, Diane, Susan, John, Andy and Brian, and with their permission share them with you.

I stayed up watching until 2:15am to hear Trump’s speech – which was surprisingly mild and included words of gratitude for Hillary Clinton’s years of hard work and service to our country. I have voted in every election since Kennedy – Nixon in 1960 and have been elated – Johnson’s defeat of Goldwater, Barack Obama (twice!) – and devastated – George W. (twice) and last night. This one is different because Trump has the potential to do very real harm to our nation and our culture. In fact, he has already tapped into something dark – misogyny, racism, vulgarity, meanness. It took me several hours to fall asleep and my thoughts continued to focus on you and your children. The most heart breaking part of the long evening was to be beside Sue who has been a loyal, unswerving Hillary supporter for years. She gave up around 1:00am and said through tears, “I’ll never see a woman president.” A lot of us share that sentiment.

So – what now?

It is more important, essential in fact, that you and every American like you, hang on for dear life to precious values that have made us proud of our nation in the past: compassion and concern for the poor, marginal, discriminated against, oppressed: generosity, responsibility in world affairs for the vast power and influence we have: and, above all, justice and the continuing difficult struggle – more difficult this morning than ever – to be true to the more than two centuries commitment implied by that phrase that still stirs me every time I say it, “with liberty and justice for all.”

Please, please do not despair and give up hope. Your values and the values I have watched, with such admiration and pride, you plant in your children, are at the core of our nation at its best. I am comforted this morning simply by thinking of you five and Rick, Steve, Nancy, Mary, Jillian, and the following beautiful litany: Caitlin, Cameron and Brianna, Carolyn, Alex, Nick, Rachel, Johnny, Eleanor, Kate, Ella, Lilly, Fiona, Eliza. With all my heart I believe those people and those values will prevail ultimately.

For my own comfort this morning I pulled from the shelf a very wise book, The Cycles of American History, by Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. He was an historian, American History professor, liberal intellectual from New York, at the heart of the Kennedy administration. His book traces the swings and sometimes lurches back and forth down through our entire history as a nation and he concludes that a swing too far in one direction will be corrected in the future. i.e. this too shall pass.

So, my dears, do not lose heart, keep the faith, fight hard, speak up, support and work for the good, and keep investing your very best in your children who, like mine, are the guarantee that all, finally, shall be well.



  1. Jerry Johnson says:

    Thank you, John, for sharing these wonderful thoughts at a very “unwonderful” time…

  2. Karen Johnson says:

    Thank you, John. I am weeping a lot and praying a lot. Karen Johnson

  3. Thank you, Dr. Buchanan, for your words of reassurance and encouragement.

  4. Karen Pettinelli says:

    John, I am the daughter of Dennis and Mary Shoemaker (names you may not have thought of in years!). My father would have written your same words. He would have told us to try to understand what happened, but to also look into getting involved to help enforce our values to which we live. I needed a little comfort this morning. Thank you sharing.

    Karen Pettinelli

  5. Jan Viscum says:

    Thank you Rev. Buchanan. That gave me a moment of peace and hope in an otherwise very dark day.

  6. Phil Gibboney says:

    Beautiful and wise words John, for all at this time in our great American history.

    • Jerold Shetler says:

      Thank you John for these comforting and challenging words.
      I duplicated your experience of last evening and have spent
      today in virtual mourning. Reading your blog this evening has
      been most helpful in providing some insightful reflection and also
      new perspective. With eleven grandchildren, seven of whom are
      gifted and politically savvy young women, I found your comments
      especially cogent. They will be shared.

  7. Judy Hoffhine says:

    Thank you. I pass it on to my own children. I share Sue’s response. I wanted aMom there who would work hard for women and children. And such a talented, experienced, strong woman. May God bless her.

  8. Susan Johnson says:

    John, Brian and I have been distressed all day, but felt much comfort when reading your words. You provide God’s sustaining comfort and a promise that He will walk beside us, and our dear nation, as we live through Mr. Trump’s presidency. Thank You!

  9. Kate Kettles says:

    While not one of your children, I have been hoping to hear from you today and even more hoping more that my daughter would. I am clinging to your words. Thank you for showing us a way forward once again. Thank you for giving me hope.

  10. You are my hero. I needed to hear that.

  11. Joe Pisciotte says:

    Thank you for a much needed grand bit of wisdom calling on us to keep the faith in ourselves and in our political system which has endured much over the decades and continues to correct itself back to center. Thank you also for reminding me of Schlesinger’s book. I am now going upstairs to my office to get my copy and re-read a much needed framework to apply some balm to our current situation. This too shall pass if we help it along.

  12. Clara Morgan says:

    Thank you! Again and again.

    On Wednesday, November 9, 2016, Hold to the Good wrote:

    > John M. Buchanan posted: ” I wrote these words for my adult children, > Diane, Susan, John, Andy and Brian, and with their permission share them > with you. I stayed up watching until 2:15am to hear Trump’s speech – which > was surprisingly mild and included words of gratitude for Hilla” >

  13. Manley Olson says:

    John Thank you for your words of hope. This has been a hard day since almost everyone I was with shared my sense of shock and frustration. I needed words like yours. It seems so long ago we were on a high following the Cubs win. Yesterday morning I wrote a reply but my computer was acting up and I was not able to send it. I will send it now. Thanks again. Manley

  14. Thank you, John. As you always have in your sermons, you offer words of encouragement,, hope, and grace while recalling us to live out our most chrished values.

  15. Thank you, John. As you always have in your sermons, you offer words of encouragement,, hope, and grace while recalling us to live out our most chrished values.

  16. Vicky Curtiss says:

    Thank you, John. As with your many sermons, you lift us up with words of faith, hope and grace while recalling us to values we cheish.

  17. Dr. Buchanan – since early this morning, I have been seeking insight and solace. Thank you for appearing as an answer to my prayer. A month ago, when my (almost) 90 year old mother’s physician talked with her about accepting hospice care, my Mom – who flatly rejected any assistance in dying – pragmatically told her doctor that only if Mr. Trump was elected President would she be ready to die. That story, related to me recently, made me immensely proud because my Republican mother was engaged in following this election up until a few days before her death on October 28th. I was a little confused why she peacefully slipped away prior to the outcome. Today, I am grateful that she did not live to experience the morning after. The depth of my despair was paralyzing. Had she lived, she may not have felt its intensity in the manner that I did – but I am quite certain that she would have experienced similar disbelief that a man whose values and actions were antithetical to Christ’s example and teachings could be elected leader of this country. She was offended by Mr. Trump’s vulgarities, bigotry, disrespect and bullying and her lifelong party affiliation did not override her sensibilities and conviction about which of the two candidates should be elected. In three days, we will celebrate her life here in Dallas with a memorial service. I am simply struggling to find peace and acceptance of the loss I feel, which has been so hideously compounded. So, I will try to keep the faith. I will pray for grace and the spirit to forgive. I will hope for harmony to prevail within and among my family. I will pray for the soothing balm of Mother’s and God’s love to fill my heart and fuel my hope. I am grateful for her life and example. This is, perhaps, way too personal to post on your blog, but it poured out before I could pull back. Thank you, John. As always, my best to you and Sue. Kristi

  18. Porter Cameron says:

    Aren’t you glad our farsighted founding founders set up a republic ( in case you didn’t. know) and the electoral college which keeps this group of criminal out of the White House.

  19. Shelley Greenwood says:

    Thank you, John. For over 36 years as an educator, I receive my greatest comfort and courage from listening to the students. We need to remember our mission: to care for them in a community that embraces diversity of people, culture and ideas, while we inspire them to lead lives of purpose and excellence. You have my promise to keep the faith.

  20. Virginia Tennant says:

    Thank you, John…I am having a very difficult time accepting this defeat…Keep the Faith! Jinny Tennant

  21. Hello John…Rick Pettry here…Thelma Biery suggested your blog….with respect and admiration, thank you. My kids were shook by the election results, I was dumbfounded and perplexed. A few choice words escaped my mouth….and still are. But on we go to continue to fight the good fight.

  22. Hello Rev. Rick Pettry here. Thelma Biery suggested your blog. I forwarded it to my family.
    Grace and peace.

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