A cloud of fear and apprehension has settled on my country as we wait for a wild card candidate to become president. Some celebrate in the streets while others take to the streets to protest; some sit at home and wonder about what is to come while others consider arming themselves. Members of my community are simultaneously celebrating and mourning.
Personally, I feel paralyzed. I don’t know what to do. I feel like I can’t make anything better. People that I love are hurting and feel threatened in the home, our home. Fear and a dangerous group think has emboldened a group of people to lash out at those who they perceive as “other”, hurling abuse at strangers and classmates alike. Pain permeates the hearts of those who feel betrayed by their fellow countrymen, and their pain is visible in their words and actions.
I only have one voice, but what can my voice do? As part of a privileged majority, the temptation to remain silent is real. But if I remain silent, what does that mean for the world in which my unborn son will grow up? That betrays my faith.
I am a Christian. My faith is not in a man or women in elected office; my faith is in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. My faith is in the saving power of Jesus Christ, the Son of God who gave up His status to live in a mortal body among a people who didn’t understand or accept Him and who ultimately crucified Him for crimes that He did not commit. When He was here, He left a very distinct example of how to interact with the marginalized and the hurting. He lived among them. He spent His time with those who were cast out by society, feeding the hungry and spending time with social outcasts. He honored the government, and encouraged His followers to do the same. Instead of focusing His energy on overthrowing the government and bending it to His will, He focused on loving the outcast and living on the margins of society.
I commit to following His example.
- I will love those who are hurting.
- I will use my voice to defend those who are abused.
- I will continue to do my civic and Christian duty to remain engaged in my community and government; focusing on holding elected officials and leaders accountable for their actions and words.
- I will listen to the concerns of my neighbors.
- I will speak carefully.
- I will carefully consider the viewpoint of others.
May God grant us all the grace to walk through these confusing times with grace, compassion, and humility. May we comfort one another and abstain from perpetuating or causing fear.
To those who are in pain, I will break my silence. I see you. I see your pain, and I weep with you. I will be right here; I will not remain silent.
If you are not in pain, consider those who are. Think about how Christ would love them and what this week has meant in their lives. Walk in their shoes. Truly love your neighbor.