I am writing this on Monday, November 2. One day before Election Day 2020. I’ve got to tell you, I have the full gamut of emotions coursing through my brain today. First of all, I have to own that there is fear. Fear for how people will respond to the results of the election and that fear is not contingent on who wins this election. It seems that there are those who have fully embraced the idea of dehumanizing those with whom they disagree. When another person’s life or worth is called into question, we all lose. Second, (again owning) I have some anger. I fight it, but it wells up inside of me anytime I hear or read hate-filled words directed at a person or group of persons. I want to make that go away and perhaps the anger comes from having to realize I do not have the power to force people to be kind and loving. This must be so frustrating for Jesus who tells us over and over and over again to do this very thing: Love One Another! Third, I feel disappointment. Maybe you do too. And fourth (and final), mixed in with those not so positive thoughts and feelings is a well spring of hope. I have hope. I have hope because I know that God loves all people. The ones I find so easy to love and the ones I...well...you know. For God so loved the world does not allow us to pick and chose who we find worthy of the love God. I have hope, even in these difficult and somewhat terrifying times, because in God’s economy, he always know the future. He can work in and through challenging circumstances and even people. I have hope because I believe in the goodness of so many people. People who will demonstrate love and kindness no matter how much their hearts may break over election results.
I suppose these things called emotions are a part of what makes us human. We just must never forget that our hope and our love for one another are the things that define us as Christ-followers.
John Wesley, theologian and founder of Methodism, gave some solid advice around voting:
1. Vote for the person you judge most worthy.
2. Speak no evil against the candidates.
3. See God’s worth in people who vote differently than you
Scripture gives a solid directive around all of life:
John 13:34, 15:12, 15:17
1 Thessalonians 4:9
1 Peter 1:22
1 John 3:11, 3:23, 4:7, 4:11-12
2 John 1:5
*Cheat notes: They all say, "Love One Another!"
I was walking our dogs just the other day when I saw three yard signs in three different yards. Just across the street from one another were opposing presidential signs. Two houses down was a yard sign that read "Jesus 2020." At the risk of sounding just slightly not normal, I confess that I often talk to my dogs. In that moment, I said to my beloved pups, “Wow, guys, I sure hope these folks love each and are just the best of friends."