I know some people who have kept off their social media feeds for the last few weeks, but I can’t.
For my work at Launch Ministry, I am regularly on Facebook scanning for updates of those we work with – for positive steps forward and unfortunate ones backward. I also use it for gathering donations, finding volunteers, and reaching out to find more struggling young adults we can help. So I can’t turn it off.
One of the posts this morning was of amazing people I admire attending a Trump rally. Another was of someone else I admire expressing how her mental health issues are being exacerbated by the thought of Trump being elected. Another man I admire because he has proven his strength of heart and mind agrees with my frustration of a slow and broken government system, so voting for Trump is a vote for hope that it may be fixed. Yet another person I admire in a similar situation hears Trumps words belittling women into things to be toyed with, and only sees more of a white male dominated society that does whatever it wants to get whatever it wants.
And the give and take on Clinton isn’t clear either. She has been in politics for a long, long time. Honestly, I hear more talk about Trump than I do about Clinton, which in itself, is interesting. I hear, but mostly via soundbites, that she isn’t trustworthy. And having worked in D.C. and having personally realized I could not survive there, I don’t doubt that it takes stereotypical politics to survive in that world. And yes, will we ever know all the details behind all the decisions she has made? (Even much of my grandfather’s WWII information is still top secret.) So we have a lot of blank spaces we can only guess at. And guessing in politics isn’t good.
I will disclose that I voted early, and I voted for Clinton. Yes, I voted for her because she is a woman. Just as it was time to have a non-white man as our President, it is time to have a non-man as our President. As a woman, she has had to struggle and compromise in a man’s world to get where she is and to stay there, it has left it’s mark. But also as someone who went to college with a double major in Political Theory and Constitutional Democracy & International Relations, followed by a Masters of Divinity, working in the government, non-profit, church, and corporate spheres, I believe someone with the knowledge and experience in international politics like Clinton is needed at this time, rather than someone who knows how to make a deal in a boardroom of white men playing with inherited or borrowed money. So yes, I’m bias.
But that is why I am more concerned about praying for after the election than before the election.
This election, no matter what side you are on – voting for Trump, for Clinton, for Johnson, for Stein, or someone else – leaves us with a country where we are currently being set-up as winners and losers.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Instead, we can learn from this. We can learn from this election cycle and be thankful that this frustration has been brought out to center stage and can not be ignored any longer. That no matter what you think of the “other side”, there are people hurting, there are people – good and admirable people – who see the world differently than you and who are hurting.
- This country has a major problem with income disparities. I see this clearly from where I sit in my cozy Midwest suburb…where many friends have multi-million dollar homes with fancy vacations, and others are not able to even live month to month on full-time jobs. The American Dream is not real for all of us for many, many reasons.
- Women are second class. We are easy targets to be used by those who are stronger. We are doubted and sacrificed because we are weaker, or female, or just not male. Our society, our culture, even ourselves, does not see us as worthy of full respect, honor and regard as men. And we continue to put up with this. We all, continue to put up with this. Words turn into actions, maybe not as an individual, but definitely as a society.
- The international realm is a mess. Duh! There are no easy answers with so many moving parts. But we cannot ignore the unrest around the world. We cannot isolate ourselves, but only grow in our partnerships to resolve common problems.
- Gender Issues. We are just in the beginning of this…how will it go?
No matter who we are voting for, we hopefully can all agree that we want peace in our lives.
We want a roof over our heads, food on our tables, a job we are at least moderately happy with, and joy in our lives.
We want to feel safe. We want to know that our children our safe. Our friends and family our safe.
We want to be the people God created us to be.
You created us. You created this world. You created us as siblings, as your children….and we fight as children in this sandbox we have created and called the United States of America. Help us navigate our lives as one community, as one country, as one people after the 2016 Election.
Help us to see beyond the surface, to listen to one another, to really look at each other, to see you in each of us. Help us to seek peace and justice for all, even if that means we need to reevaluate our personal assumptions, values, and ways of living. Help us move forward together, by listening, asking questions. Open our hearts and minds when we cannot, to really know each other, and to know how to move forward together.
Gracious God – help us, because we are not able to help ourselves. Amen.