…the election. Most of you dear readers probably share with me a sense of relief that we are through with nasty campaigning, partisan sniping, and divisive speech. At least I hope all of this is behind us. When I woke up the morning after the election I checked Facebook for messages and comments. I wish I had not. Folks really should think before making comments on the internet because there were some mean and ugly things being said about elected officials, neighbors, and friends who voted one way or another. Not all of the entries were political. I had friends and acquaintances who are dealing with sickness, death or loss of some other kind that a voting booth will not remedy.
When I went to bed the night before the election it was long before any predictions or announcements were made on who would be our next president (or for that matter congressional representative, senator, etc.). I slept well. It was not because I was confident or apathetic. I just knew that when I went to bed I needed to follow Jesus and when I woke up I still needed to follow Jesus. Maybe I slept well out of ignorance. Maybe I slept well out of perspective knowing that each night many are dealing with personal challenges far more consequential than the outcome of election. It really does not matter. I went to bed, slept, and by the grace of God woke up to another day.
I have to admit that I am sad for our nation, but not because of the winners and losers who campaigned for so long. I am sad because so many have succumbed to fear so completely. Scripture reminds us “…perfect love casts out all fear…” (1 John 4:18). Love, however, is the very thing missing in much of the current rhetoric and attitude.
We, the community of Christ, can offer a counter message. We can love in the face of opposition, persecution, derision, and when we do not know what else to do. The hope for this nation and this world will not come from the White House or any other house. Hope comes when we live, talk, and serve as Christ would. The witness and work of Christ has gone on in communist regimes and totalitarian governments as well as democracies.
May God find us faithful regardless of Tuesday’s outcome. May God find us faithful in plenty and want. May God find us faithful in the face of death and in the promise of life. And when we are not faithful…
…may we find God gracious and forgiving, merciful and loving, savior and sustaining.
My spiritual mentor Thomas Merton wrote in his book New Seeds of Contemplation, “For the world and time are the dance of the Lord in emptiness…the more we persist in misunderstanding the phenomena of life, the more we analyze them out into strange finalities and complex purposes of our own, the more we involve ourselves in sadness, absurdity and despair. But it does not matter much, because no despair of ours can alter the reality of things; or stain the joy of the cosmic dance which is always there…yet the fact remains that we are invited to forget ourselves on purpose, cast our awful solemnity to the winds and join in the general dance.”
Struggling to follow with you,