Friday, November 11, 2016

Post Election Thoughts

I haven’t said much about the election because I haven’t known what to say.  I woke up at 3 am on Wednesday from my restless couch sleep and my heart felt like a stone flung into a deep sea.  I’ve cried while cutting peppers.  I’ve been lost in a swirl of foggy thoughts, unable to engage my 3 year old’s constant chatter.  Because whatever your policy positions, whatever your hopes for the Supreme Court, it is indisputable that we have a President Elect who has said awful, hurtful things and degraded women and minorities again and again. And this is a cause for grief.  I’ve stayed silent because I know there are many whose worlds seem undone by Tuesday.  To blithely speak of my quiet life with my kids is an insult to their pain, for I am a white, middle-class, straight, college-educated woman, and the danger of a President Trump is minimal for me.  To my liberal friends, to my gay friends, to my friends of color, I see you.  I hear your fear and your anger.  And I am so sorry. 

I am also troubled by the dichotomy that this election cycle seems to have cemented. You either love minorities and the LGBTQ community or you love the unborn.  You either voted for Hillary or you’re a bigot.  If you voted third party, heaven help you, for now you are despised by many.  I live in a county in which 80% of the presidential votes went to Donald Trump.  My direct neighbors are the white rural poor.  This is my reality; this is my culture.  I have watched them from my windows and bestowed copious amounts of assumptions and judgments.  And in return, my heart has been shamed as my neighbors‘ humanity has wrecked my hasty and fearful stereotypes.  I have listened to a man weep on our front porch, the same man who I wanted to get the heck out of our block, for I was sure he was selling meth.  I have opened the door to a neighbor bearing tiny pumpkins for the kids to paint, the same neighbor I wrote off as having a messy yard and no job.  I have been given baby Nike tennis shoes for the birth of my first child by a family who I wished lived anywhere but across the alley from us.  These stories are painful for me to behold, for they reveal my smugness and pride, my fantastic ability to paint people as stock characters, rather than to look them in the eye and see all the nuance they contain.  

In the Kingdom of Christ, this dichotomy does not exist.  I think I will be a bit surprised someday to see who is standing with me before Christ, for the grace of God reaches wider than I can wrap my mind around.  Here and now, the love of His followers ought to extend to all the world, even and especially, our enemies.  While it is VITALLY important to speak out in defense of the groups that are targeted and afraid right now, it is also important to see and love the swaths of America that chose a President I wish they hadn’t.  For the Christian, we don’t get to choose who gets our love and understanding.  We give the cloak to any who demand.  We bring the chalice of Christ’s blood to all because we know how undeserving we ourselves have been.  

May I humbly propose that as we refuse the narrative that we must pick a side and dig our heels in, the Kingdom of Christ will come?  Might we envision a world where we defend the girl in the hijab and share the table with the uneducated man who would be called deplorable by some?  There will be voices that decry such a method, for in the act of radical, sacrificial love to all, we will displease those who want an easy target to blame. 

This is what makes the Cross of Christ so insane.  That the most “other” person, whether they truly personify all that we abhor or whether they simply wear the mantle of our condescension and categorization -- that this person is welcome.  That this person is the one to whom Christ stretches His hands out with pleading love.  

Love where you are, my friends.  

Speak out against injustice, stand up for the oppressed, and then whomever you find yourself surrounded by, 

love them,

again and again and again.  

Not because they have earned it, but because you never have earned it either.  


  1. Thank you. An eloquent truth...

  2. Beautifully written - a voice for our times. Thank you for helping me think through tomorrow's communion prayer in my midwestern Church of Christ. Im grateful to get to pray and lift our beasts to God at this difficult time. Thank you and God bless.

  3. Lara, just came across this per FB - so exactly articulating and resonating. Thank you so much for sharing, and this truthful spurring on. I hope this finds you and yours well.

  4. this is the most beautifully written, heartfelt post I have ever read. EVER. I was going to quantify it somehow but it doesnt need to be. I have had judgement in my heart also for the un-Christian things I see our president doing and for those who continue to support him despite what he says and does. This message has such great importance that I would love to post a trackback on FB, please let me know if that is ok.