America call to action

Post-Election Call to Action

11:08 AMHeather

Here we are. Wednesday, November 9, 2016. The sun rose today, like any other day.

 Image courtesy of Aaron Burden via Unsplash

For so many, this new day brings strong feelings. There is unity in the depth of emotion, although the emotions stand in great contrast. 

In the aftermath of such an ugly and divisive campaign, I went to bed last night firmly confident of one thing.

We all lose. 

As I said in my blog last Friday, we all lose in some ways because of how this campaign and election have stolen hope and decency from us all. 

In a phone call with my college roommate, we discussed how we as a culture have lost an ability to uphold civility, respect, and honor with each other. This is most evident in how the disagreements between us digress into personal attacks, enabled by the anonymity and bravado of throwing out words behind a computer screen rather than eye-to-eye.

So, here we are. On the cusp of change. And I am looking for words for myself and my children. 

I want to have words for you, too. I want to have the words that we all need to hear. 

I want to have words for those who rejoice with the results of this election and feel perhaps the status quo might be shaken up at last.

Hope is always a glorious thing. Although misplaced hope brings only disappointment. And may I remind us all, God alone is the source worthy of anchoring our hope.

Even more so, I want to have words for those who despair. I want to have words for those who feel fear and angst as a result of last night. Who feel fear for their safety, rights, and futures. 

The truth is that there are people all around who are crying out with fear and concern. We would do well to listen.

Because no matter on which side of this fence you fall, the truth is this. No one really wins when the results cause people to fear. When divisiveness rules, none of us win. A house divided against itself cannot stand (Mark 3:24-25). 

The lack of unity in this country is a problem. Even more so, the divisions and rifts and animosity within the Church are alarming. 

Divisiveness is actually a symptom of a deeper concern. It's a symptom of prideful forgetfulness.

Forgetting that the behind the numbers the pundits predicted and then proclaimed are actual people. Behind the arguments and the issues are people. Each vote counted represents a person who counts. People who are our friends, family, and neighbors. People who have hopes and dreams and jobs and children. People who have far more in common with us than they do differences.

If we could just have conversations with them. If we could just have eyes to see them. If we could just remember what my dad taught me after his years fighting in Vietnam.

We all bleed the same color. 

Oh, yes, this is a call to compassion speech. Because my children are watching. And it matters how we respond.

It matters if we respond with a sense of respect for both sides. It matters if we respond with kindness and grace and love. It matters if we respond with prayers for our country. 

Prayers for a more united country. Prayers for wise counsel to surround our President. Prayers for safety for our citizens. Prayers for eyes to see the people behind all the media hype. 

Prayers for ears to hear each other out and to find a way to respectfully disagree, without causing people to feel threatened in the process. 

Prayers for our lives and words to reveal the glory and hope of our Lord Jesus Christ because they preach a great and amazing grace.

It matters if we seek to listen more than we shout out our thoughts. It matters if we teach our children how to have debates and express themselves while maintaining civility. 

It matters. Because people matter.

And I've been bullied, like the rest of you, all throughout this election. I've been bullied to vote this way or that way.  I've watched the ugly all the way through, and I found myself apologizing to my children during the presidential debates. I told them that we are better than this. We, the people, are far better than this.

So let's be better. Let's remember that at the heart of the gospel is the message of love. Our Savior didn't die for political gain. He didn't die for a particular platform or a particular political party. He gave himself up for the love of the people. 

For the love of people.

So, as we step into this new day with a newly elected president, let's remember the love of the people. Let's respond radically.

Let's respond with a battle cry to bring back civility. To bring back respect and honor and speaking kindly to one another.

Let's pray earnestly for our leaders and our government. 

Let's pray for each other and look past the politics to see the person.

Let's bow before the only One who can actually lead us. The only One who can actually be a source of hope in all things. The only One who rules and reigns. The only One worthy of our devotion. 

Let's press on, people. 

Let's preach loudly to the grace of Jesus with our lives, and if necessary, use words. 

Let's remember that while we may be American citizens, we belong to a better country. 

So let's act like it.

And let's tell our souls to cling to the truth of these words.

But my eyes are fixed on you, O Sovereign Lord; in you I take refuge. Psalm 141:7  

And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his Kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.
Isaiah 9:6-7 

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