If you are a Trump supporter, you’re off the hook. I have nothing to say to you today, except congratulations and Godspeed! Go treat yourself to a pumpkin spice latte or something!
There’s a line in Sarah Kay’s poem “B (If I Should Have a Daughter)” that I feel resonates in every message you send me.
“Because no matter how wide you stretch your fingers, your hands will always be too small to catch all the pain you want to heal. Believe me, I’ve tried.”
How You Feel
Today, you are looking out to a divided world in horror. You are looking at your divided community in horror. You are looking towards your leadership hoping for understanding and comfort, but mostly you find analysis and explanations.
But this week isn’t about explanations. It is about pain, the pain born of love.
You feel pain for your black students, friends, and colleagues who have been marked and tossed by this election.
You feel pain for your Muslim friends and neighbors who are suffering in American classrooms this week.
You feel pain for your gay friend whom you just convinced that God is the only source of true love, only to have him or her be dropped back to the start of the spiritual journey.
You feel a lack of love. But you aren’t worried about yourself–you are thinking about all the vulnerable people out there who today have felt justified in saying Christians are hypocrites and that God’s love is a joke.
And you are thinking about all the people out there who are thrilled to beat, mock, and berate others with the full approval of the president-elect and the implicit approval of 50% of the population.
I know it feels like something inside you has died. A piece of your innocence. Your joy, your hope. A piece of your faith in humanity.
What You Need to Know
Hope, unity, strength, joy. These are gifts only God can provide.
“Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10)
You look around and you see a fractured country, a fractured world. But unity is not of this world. It is a gift from God.
“There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” (Ephesians 4:4-6)
You feel hopeless. Remember that this is the human condition, as King David said, “Our days on earth are as a shadow, / and without hope.” (1 Chronicles 29:15)
Take heart. The same King David said, “And now, Lord, what do I wait for? / My hope is in You.” (Psalm 38:7)
“Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him
For the help of His countenance.”
This is just a reminder of that.
Dos and Don’ts
You wonder, what now? Some advice for the weeks to come:
When people on social media call you “sore losers,” hold your tongue.
When people say you are “victimizing” yourself, hold your tongue.
When people mock your perspective as ignorant or “crazy,” hold your tongue.
Save your efforts. Take the beating. Put your back instead to use shielding those who need shielding.
Find a friend who is scared and be a beacon of God’s light.
Find a friend who is unloved and be the messenger of God’s love.
Love more. Love harder. Love without fear of awkwardness or overstepping.
And ignore the trolls*.
Not forever, mind you. You won’t have to ignore them forever.
Please, instead, conserve your energy this week to love the weak, innocent, and confused among us.
Sarah Kay says, You’re going “to learn that this life will hit you, hard, in the face, wait for you to get back up so it can kick you in the stomach.” But that “getting the wind knocked out of you is the only way to remind your lungs how much they like the taste of air.”
Love Is Your Superpower
You would not hurt this much if you were not filled with a holy love. Beloved, Love is a superpower–it is, in fact, Divine.
I can hear it in your voices: this week, your demons are standing over you with kryptonite.
Step away from the kryptonite. Regroup. Read Habbakuk. Immerse yourself in scripture and God’s promises. Fill your emptiness with light.
“There is hurt, here, that cannot be fixed by band-aids or poetry”–but it can be fixed by God.
For our vulnerable populations–pray.
For your friends who are considering turning their backs on the church–pray.
For your friends on both sides of the aisle–pray.
For the president-elect–pray
For your own salvation–pray.
And remember you don’t “have to wear the cape all by [your]self.”
You are not alone.
Have courage and be kind.
P.S. God will grant you the power to outrun the spiritual warfare. Run. Run for your life from sin. “Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” (Psalm 34:14 )
*In case you are reading this and don’t know what a troll is:
A troll is a person on the Internet, often nameless, who says mean, rude, hurtful things just for a laugh.
As defined “officially” by Wikipedia, “a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion, often for their own amusement.”