Based on the response to my last post (found here if you would like to read it) and that I own two eyes and two ears – it is obvious that a lot of people have a lot of BIG feelings about how our nation voted on Tuesday. We are a few days past the 2016 election, and some of you are pleased and satisfied with the results. I love you, I support you, congratulations. But this post is not for you – unless you would like to hear what I have to say about how to be tender and loving to those who believe differently than you. In that case, I hope you will read on.
Dear Disappointed American,
I am heartbroken for you. As a white, heterosexual member of the middle class, I won’t pretend that I can sympathize. I don’t even think I can completely understand. My heartbreak happened months ago upon realizing that these two candidates would, indeed, be our only real options. I am, frankly, somewhat embarrassed of our choice, but I am not afraid. I want you to hear me say that I hear you when you say that you are.
I admit that I don’t really know how to reach out to you, save this letter. And I honestly don’t know if it will encourage you or make you feel more pain (please know this is the farthest thing from my intention), but I could no longer sit silent while you cry out. I had to at least let you know that I care. I see and hear that some are mocking your unhappiness. I want you to know that I won’t do that. That there are many people, even though not exactly like you, who won’t do that. And I would encourage those who are gloating and mocking to remember that there are always people, REAL PEOPLE affected by policy. Author Lysa TerKeurst expressed this better than I ever could: “But it is a rare and beautiful thing when we choose to offer love in situations when most people would choose to scorn or ignore.”
I hear what is being said about the “Christians” and the “religious right” that “got Trump elected”. I can’t bear the thought of being associated with any of the horrible things that are being said about Trump followers just because I’m a Christian. In the grand scheme of things, it really doesn’t matter what you think of me, but it matters SO MUCH what you think of Jesus because of me. Please know that not all Christians vote Republican. Neither political party is mentioned in the Bible so I’m pretty sure neither one can claim Jesus as a mascot! And the so-called “right” is an invention of politics, not religion. I know that can’t possibly alleviate the fears you have about how your life might be changed in the days to come. I wish I could promise you that wisdom will always prevail. That could never be anything more than an empty promise when flawed people are in charge. The only thing I can offer you is the truth that you are infinitely loved by the all-powerful Creator of the universe. You matter to Him and He is for you. I hope that this brings you some measure of peace. That you would come to know the truth and depth of His love for you is my greatest prayer in these uncertain times.
“In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” 1 John 4:10-11