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waking up on november 9th

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.

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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.

Thanks for sharing!

4 thoughts on “waking up on november 9th

  1. It is so sad that you were afraid for Mr. Trump to become your president. I believe he will surround himself with good, wise and knowledgeable people. He will not be able to “press the button” on a whim of anger, as he was falsely portrayed. We must learn to research and truthfully examine our beliefs, and who is swaying them.

    On the contrary, I am not afraid to have a woman as president of our great country, but she must be above reproach, believe in the sanctity of life and protection of our freedoms that our forefathers fought to protect.

    Perhaps, four years from now, you will be happy that he became president, and if not…you can call me out for this comment.

    1. Beverly, of course everyone’s entitled to their opinion. But I would say a few things in response: 1) Donald Trump, with his bankruptcies, affairs, multiple marriages and sexual assaults is hardly “above reproach.” 2) Abortion rates go DOWN under Democratic presidents and UP under Republican presidents — not to mention the fact that Trump was staunchly pro-abortion just a few years ago. So you’re hardly saving unborn lives by voting for him. 3) Who wants a president who is so immature that he takes to Twitter to mock people, call them names, and post things that aren’t even true (i.e., the non-existent Ms. Universe sex tape)?

      I will pray for Trump — not only because he’s a leader and I’m commanded to, but also (maybe mostly) I still think he’s dangerous and I’m afraid for how ethnic minorities, women and anyone who disagrees with Trump will suffer in the next four years.

      God have mercy.

      Sarah

      1. Hi, Sarah,

        The night of the election, I was experiencing a myriad of reactions: anger, sadness, despair, and hopelessness. I didn’t sleep much that night (only 5 hours) and the next morning, I was still sad and walked around like a zombie. I was wondering, “What am I going to do now?” What was going to happen to my co-workers? What was going to happen to the students I help as a writing tutor and graduate student? What was going to happen to our work and educational opportunities? What was going to happen to people whom Trump insulted? What about young people who are going to emulate him, thinking that hating and insulting people is okay? What was going to happen to our country?

        I’m not looking forward to January 20th because, for the first time in my life–indeed, the first time in our country’s history–I’ll be living under a president who inspires no hope, no love, no peace, or no compassion. In other words, nothing good. But I’ve realized that there are still good people in this world who are ready and willing to fight for what is right–and I can be one of them, too. As Hillary’s slogan said, “Stronger together.”

        1. Yes — I wrote about this on Jan 1. 2017 will not arrive as a hopeful year, but we can bring hope to it together.

          Stay strong!
          Sarah

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