Here we are. November 9th, 2016.
The morning after.
Like many of you, I’m sure, I watched the election results pour in until the wee hours of the morning. I expected a close contest, but also like many of you, I didn’t expect such an emphatic electoral college win for Donald Trump.
So, here we are, it’s the morning after, and I am going to double down on a few things.
I am doubling down on love. The election is over now, but in its wake it leaves us with a fractured country. Which means fractured communities. Which, in turn, means fractured relationships. And love is our only hope–the healing, transforming power that only love can bring into being. I refuse to hate. I refuse to be bitter. I choose love. I will love my Trump supporting neighbor and my Clinton supporting neighbor. I will love my white neighbor and my black neighbor. My Christian neighbor and my Muslim neighbor. My straight neighbor and my LGBTQ+ neighbor. My enemies and my friends. People who share my worldview and values and those who seem to live in ways that are opposed to my worldview and values. I will seek to live with an open heart, open eyes, and open hands. Because, love wins.
I am doubling down on honoring the humanity of all people. Because, you see, before we are a particular gender or race, sexual orientation or political affiliation, religion or socioeconomic level, we are human beings. We embody the image of the Divine in our humanity, because of it, not in spite of it. This means that we all share our humanity, this is our deepest common ground, the place from which we can perhaps begin to mend our brokenness as a society. I will seek to meet every person in this place, the place of our humanness.
I am doubling down on being a voice for those who live on the margins. I will not be silent in the face of discrimination. oppression, and injustice. I will stand in solidarity with Muslims, immigrants, LGBTQ+ community, and anyone who finds themselves on the outside looking in. The table is big enough for all, friends. Every person must be welcomed to the conversation. Agreement–with me, you, or anyone–is not a precondition. We must choose to listen to and include one another, now more than ever. I will seek to leverage my privilege for the sake of those without privilege, my voice for the voiceless, my influence for those who have none. This is both the example and call of Jesus to us. In the marginalized we meet Christ. Do we have eyes to see? Ears to hear? Are our hearts open?
I am doubling down on being a person of peace. This is both external and internal. I will not be complicit in combative, violent, hateful speech or actions. I will not engage in hostile arguments or defend my beliefs and convictions in aggressive ways. I will seek to live from a place of wholeness, generosity, and grace. I will share but not coerce, invite but not demand. I will seek to hear and heed the voice of Jesus, saying then and now, “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, if only you knew what made for peace!” I will seek to be a peacemaker wherever I may be–my home, my community, our world.
It’s the morning after, friends. The sun came up. The world still spins.
We still have much work to do.
So, may we do it with love, grace, and courage.
May we engage to bring healing, mending, and reconciliation.
May our practice match our preaching.
And may we find that we are not alone in this.
We never have been.