I didn’t watch the election results last night. Even though I didn’t vote for him, I’ve felt in my soul over the past week that Trump was going to win. When I woke up this morning in the pre-dawn dark, I had to pray for a long time, settle my soul, and ground myself in the truth that no matter which candidate won the U.S. presidential election, Divine Love is still holding us all — before I could even bring myself to look at the headlines.
I opened my laptop and read the simple headline, “IT’S TRUMP.”
A wave of emotions rolled over me. Sadness, disappointment, and a fear of what will happen over the next four years now that someone who is emotionally unstable and mean has been given a disproportionate amount of control.
My first thought was, “What other country can I move to?” Because it seems easier to flee than stay.
My second thought was, “What does it mean, as a follower of Jesus, to stay?”
As I’ve sat with my emotions this morning, I have felt the collective sense of grief of those who didn’t vote for Trump and/or stand to be discriminated against and mistreated by him. It has taken me hours to get to the place where I have anything to say.
But here it is.
Here’s what I know.
Here’s what we have to hold onto this morning.
Here’s why we can hold up our heads, get out of bed, and participate in the world. Here’s how the next four years are not only livable, but redeemable.
Because this morning, we woke up.
We woke up to remember that our primary citizenship is not in the United States of America, but in the Kingdom of God.
We woke up to remember that what it means to follow Jesus is not just to pull a lever or fill in a ballot on election day, but to live every second of every minute of every day following the teachings of the Messiah.
We woke up to remember that Christians throughout the centuries have often lived in empires and countries that were ruled by cruel and evil men, despots and demagogues — and that their faith not only persisted, but flourished, in those places.
We woke up to remember that in spite of the rhetoric of the Moral Majority and the Christian Right, we were never called to create culture or to dominate society; we were called to be counter-cultural and love the invisibles, the least of these, who were trampled by the mainstream.
We woke up this morning to remember who we really are: beloved children of a benevolent Father who has put us on this earth and in this country for such a time as this.
Today, let your heart feel what it feels. It’s okay. Sit with your disappointment, grief, sadness and fear. Let your tears fall as freely and as often as they want to. Reckon with the reality our country faces at this moment.
And then take heart, my friends, as you wake up to what’s really true:
That Trump might be our next president, but Jesus is our eternal King.
That we might be U.S. citizens for our lifetimes, but we are citizens of the Kingdom of Goodness for eternity.
That we might get to cast a vote every four years on Election Day, but we get to cast a vote every day with our lives for how God says the world should be.
That we were never called to create or maintain a culture by casting a vote for a political leader; we were called to create a counter-culture of meekness, love, gentleness, peace and hope by following the life and teachings of Jesus.
That fear, anger, misogyny, racism and terror are strong forces that run deep, and we must oppose them with everything we have. But in that fight, we can have confidence that in the end, goodness always wins — because nothing in all of creation is wider, deeper, stronger, higher or more persistent than Love.
This morning, let your mind wake up to the news that Trump won the presidential election.
But let your soul wake up to the reminder that God is on his throne, that the words of Jesus are more true now than ever, that there is no fear in Love, and that it’s time for the people of Jesus to do more than elect a presidential candidate backed by fickle and narrow-minded evangelical “leaders.”
It’s time for us to actually do what we’ve been claiming to do for a long time — to walk in the steps of Jesus.
So take a deep breath. Dry those tears. Commit, no matter who the elected leader is for the next four years, that you will love the least of these, that you will pursue the Beatitude way of being, that you will devote your body, heart, mind and soul to living a life of Love.
And that you will start today.