November Ninth


img_2516Well, the election did not go as hoped.

This was the first presidential race that I really watched (even sort of) closely, and it was the first time I let myself get emotionally invested.

Part of me feels funny about this, coming from a religious background that so strongly emphasized “putting all our hopes in King Jesus.” Looking at a particular candidate or party as either having the answers or creating the problems is a new experience, and not an entirely comfortable one, but nevertheless, I let myself get caught up in the hype.

And now I am disappointed.

Shocked. Appalled.

Angry.

Frightened.

Well, asterisk around “Frightened.” I am bolstered by my privileges. Probably, as an individual, I will be safe and treated decently no matter what happens, sheerly because I pass as white and am a male and have gotten good at keeping my opinions to myself. This is its own sort of travesty. I haven’t earned that kind of special treatment, or rather, I haven’t earned that sort of immunity from mistreatment.

All that to say, here I am, standing shocked with my liberal friends, my social work friends, my LGBTQ friends, immigrants, Muslims, women, Black Lives and everyone else who is not straight white male, mystified at how the Evangelical Christian community at large was able to be swept away by an insolent business tycoon.

Yet this is now my leader, and this is still my country.

I want to rage or run away.

Probably the better choice is to stay and work to promote critical thinking, complex thinking, compassion, kindness, an ethos of serving the Other.

Oddly enough, I take comfort in history. As long as Humans have organized and governed one another, there have been corrupt and oppressive governments. There have been economies that favored a privileged few. There have been better-thans and less-thans. There have been strong who prey on the weak, and those who sacrifice morals and virtues for the sake of wealth and power.

And right in the midst of all of that, as long as Humans have lived and toiled, there have been families and friends who fight for each other. There have been individuals who give of themselves to better the Other. There has been love and kindness and wisdom and compassion.

IMG_2087As long as there has been corruption, there has always been goodness. As long as there has been exploitation and oppression, there has been resilience, even thriving in the midst of sorrows.

As long as Humans have inhabited this tired Earth, the Kingdom has been going forth.

The kingdom that is righteousness, peace and joy. The Kingdom that is hope and truth. The Kingdom that is laying down one’s life for the other, loving one another, serving one another. The Kingdom that makes space for the wounded and broken, the misunderstood and marginalized. The Kingdom that makes wise the simple, and belongs to the poor in spirit. The Kingdom that lifts up and defends the broken, the humble, the repentant. The Kingdom that is here and not here, now and not yet. The Kingdom that will one day be established on Earth and that already dwells in the hearts of those who believe.

This Kingdom cannot be stopped.

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