Being a Christian is hard.
We’ve had at least 36 hours now to absorb the surprising results of our presidential election. Many of us have been in a daze –slightly bewildered and confused. Regardless of your preferred candidate, the polling data had predicted a very different outcome than what we all saw happening before our eyes.
Now, with a mandate from half of the voting public, Donald Trump takes the office of President, backed with a Republican majority in the House and Senate. This is the glory of a government by the people—of which none of us would change for a moment.
Throughout the last few days I have thought about how much easier it is for me to be a “left of center leaning progressive” than it is to be a Christian. As a political party member I can vent and debate, mock and obfuscate others’ policies. As a Christian, I must lean in and listen; I must embrace and include. While the political part of me seeks revenge, (“Let the markets crash! Watch Putin’s advances with a weakened NATO! See the dismantling of America’s leadership!”) the Christian in me must pray for the welfare of the city, our country, and the world. The claims of Christ demand that I seek the things that make peace. I cannot mock Trump supporters or suggest that the rise of the “know nothing” party is complete. I don’t get to paint them with a wide brush of ugly words. And perhaps the most tempting, I can not try and write off the “other” Christians who supported President-elect Trump. That’s not allowed. Like me, they are beggars of grace. And the One from whose hand we have equally received does not allow me to stand close, while my heart is far away.
Like I said, being a Christian is hard.
Yesterday morning we gathered as a staff to have a time of lament. We confessed our grief and our fears. We expressed our hopes and asked for protection for our country. We read psalms, recited the Lord’s prayer, and sang, “He’s got the whole world in his hands!” Then, in the silence that followed, Sharon Williams, our African-American office manager of 20 years, looked up with tears to say, “My people have survived more than this. We will get through this. We always have and we always will.”
Yes. God is faithful. We can all inhale and exhale. God is still redeeming the world and He is asking us to participate.
Please join us in praying for our country. Pray for people of color first, along with undocumented workers, and those particularly dependent on governmental services and assistance. Pray for the losers and the winners. Pray for people of good will to reach out to their neighbors and friends. Pray that we may find a way forward for all of us together. Pray that the character of Christ will also be the character of His people.
Pray for us Christians.
With compassion for all,