A week ago our country voted for our next president. A week ago there were people (and media) who thought the outcome would be in their favor. There were people who prayed hard for their candidate of choice. There were people who watched and waited. As the watching and waiting continued into the night, people became dazed and confused. They cried and wailed. They rejoiced and danced. A week ago there were people…
I’ve been quiet for a week trying to decide if I should share what’s on my mind. And if so, how best to share the thoughts swirling around trying to find a place to finally settle down and rest.
You see I am a pastor in rural America, serving God’s children in a place where many feel their voices aren’t heard. I am the kind of pastor who has lived in the big cities and so I have friends who are now heartbroken over the electoral count. I also have friends who are not so heartbroken. I am a pastor who has the ability to listen to both sides and hear what “the other” is saying. I am pastor who often finds herself straddling two worlds. I am a pastor who now puts herself into the heartbroken category. But I put myself there not because of who won or didn’t win the election. I put myself there because of the behavior I’ve seen and words I’ve heard from both those who lament and from those who rejoice.
A week ago there were people…let me emphasize “people.” For that is what we are. We are not winners or losers. We cannot—nor should be—so easily categorized. We are people of a loving and sovereign God who since the beginning of time has been urging us to be better than we often are. And yet in a week’s time, I wonder about who we have become. It seems this election has brought to light a problem I had an inkling was already part of our society. The problem of how we react and treat each other when things don’t go our way. Years ago I heard a pastor say that we don’t have to like one another, but we do have to walk hand in hand with one another. Is our nation capable of grasping the hand of the other?
Since the election I have been thinking a lot about the prophet Micah who said it well when he said, “Do what is right, love mercy and walk humbly with your God.”
Now more than ever we—you and I—are being called to do what is right. We can’t just leave it to others to make our lives better. We need to be part of the bettering of our world. I have often seen complacency in churches that I serve where the work of a brighter future is often left in the hands of the pastor—the church’s elected official of sorts. But it is the work of all people that matters and moves us forward. We can still wake up to a new day and know we can do our part to make it a just world for all. To do so, though, means we place ourselves in the one category that should only exist. The one of brothers and sisters in Christ.
We can choose to love mercy and realize its healing power. For when mercy is either received or extended it removes the scales from our eyes and we begin seeing each other as the brothers and sisters in Christ I just mentioned, the ones who want the same things in life you want. To be heard, to be loved, to be safe and to have your daily bread.
And we can, no, we MUST walk humbly with our God. For the one we are to glorify, the one we are to place our trust in, is God. Human leaders are just that. Human. Flawed and broken…no matter what political party they pledge allegiance to. But God is God, steadfast in love and immovable even though the mountains around us will crumble and fall.
A week ago there were people…
Tired of struggling to make ends meet.
Worried about how to afford healthcare for their family.
Scared about what rights might be taken away.
Frightened about how they and their children will be treated if not white and privileged.
A week ago there were people…those people are still here. Those people are you and me. They are our neighbors and the strangers on the street. They are our brothers and sisters in Christ.
It’s time now for us to do what is right, to love mercy and to keep walking humbly with our God.
For the savior we need is not in Washington D.C.