On the morning after the 2016 elections I do not know what the future will hold, what America will look like, and how this will shape the world my kids will grow up in.
How is God working in this?
I do not know.
I know millions of people are fearful, anxious, uncertain and shocked. I know millions of others are hopeful because their candidate has now been elected to be the next president. I also know that millions of people from both sides are making broad generalizations that only divide us more. I refuse to be a part of the latter.
I have friends and family that did not vote for the person I did and see the world so different. I choose to love them anyways. I do not accuse them of being bigots, racist, homophobic, xenophobic or other. Most of them are good people. Making broad accusations only contributes to the division and I refuse to be a part of that.
That being said, love does not mean I just accept their views or remain silent. Remaining silent is not an option. Apathy is not an option. Despair is not an option.
Some of the people I have come to most admire, Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa , Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and others did not succumb to despair, but through hope gave themselves to a vision of a more just and compassionate world.
These people inspire me because they overcame many difficulties and endured much suffering. They spoke out against injustice and and stood in solidarity with the oppressed. For this, they sacrificed much.
This is our calling. This is our vocation.
To continue to work through whatever difficulties or obstacles may arise. To continue to believe that compassion is stronger than hate. To continue to believe that tomorrow can be better than today. To continue to extend grace to all.
I believe that inclusion, equality, compassion, and justice are more important than ever before.
We make these decisions in small ways every day. When we listen to others. When we make sure everyone is included. When we decide to forgive even though it is difficult. We make this decision by making sure we don’t feed the division in unhealthy ways. We make this decision by what we post on social media. We make this decision by how we raise our kids and what we teach them. We make this decision by what kind of church/religious expression we are a part of. We make this decision when we buy food, clothes, houses, and cars.
Yes, our president influences our nation in tremendous ways, but we each make decisions daily on what kind of people we will be. I think we have far more power than we realize. Let’s continue to take a stand against injustice. Let’s continue to take a stand for equality, inclusivity, and compassion. Let’s do this together, stand with each other, and encourage each other, because all the small things really do matter.
We cannot lose hope. We cannot give up.
What if Gandhi decided it was to hard? What if Mother Teresa decided it was just to difficult? What if MLK gave up? What if Rosa Parks did not refuse to move?
If you feel weary or tired you are not alone. Every one of those above felt confused at some part of their life. Every one of them felt exhausted at some point. Every one of them felt like giving up, probably many times. What they all have in common is that they refused to give up. They refused to stop fighting. They refused to let hate win.