So. It’s happened.
Maybe it was just my echo chamber telling me this wouldn’t be the outcome of this nearly two year election season, but here we are.
I woke up at 3h (French time) to see some disturbing numbers. I comforted myself that those were the states Trump was projected to win, there was still time for it to all shake out. I then woke up at 6h and felt physically sick.
I’ve spent the last 14 hours in a foggy but manageable haze, every once and a while muttering “oh my gosh” “this cannot be happening” or “oh my word.”
I’m aware this doesn’t interest anyone, that this isn’t a creative or unique perspective. But I’ve been realizing as I’ve read article after article and hundreds of tweets, that those things are most comforting to their authors, because they’ve spent the time to think the entirety of it out and form coherent sentences working from the pain they’ve felt. I’ve been running around all day, busy with work and trying to suppress my deep sadness, but as night has fallen on Paris I finally feel able to write it out.
I should not have to write about Trump’s faults. I’m too tired for that. They are widely publicized and accessible and undeniable.
The idea that Hillary is just as bad as him is a falsehood, plain and simple perpetuated by people with an agenda. I’m SICK of having to pander and convince and talk through this fact. Basic facts and human dignity prove one candidate to be more morally reprehensible.
On top of Supreme Court Justices and Executive Orders, whoever fills the role of President has an opportunity to be a moral compass for our society. His tone and vocabulary and presence have the power to change not only our social climate, but our image on a global scale. I find it so hard not to despair at the thought of what a Trump presidency will do to the morale of statistically more than half of our country and our world at large.
I’ve realized that if religion was taken out of this election, I would feel significantly less rage. The idea that the name of Christianity is being represented by this man and all which he stands for makes me dizzy with sadness. The fact that this set of beliefs, to which I’ve devoted my life to proclaiming the integrity of, could be taken and morphed and flaunted for political gain is not shocking, but is infuriating nonetheless.
And this is where my pride is met with a demand for humility. Because for the past week I have been spouting prayers and petitions for unity among our nation, for peace and love to reign above hate. I was praying these things under the assumption that the Trump camp would have to be the one ones fighting the uphill battle.
I see now I was wrong. I see now that God was trying to soften my heart for this blow and start me off on the path of love, peace, and unity. And that has been so hard to accept today. Of course this still needs to come from both sides, but as civility has not be abundantly present among Trump supporters, I see it must start with me.
My thoughts have followed this path:
I know I am to love the Trump supporter like Christ loved me.
How do I find common ground when they seem to believe in an oppressive set of beliefs?
How do I love and not condone?
I am at a loss.
I cannot come up with the answers right now. I am one person (and currently an emotional one). But others have come before me that are smarter than I, and to them I will rely to give some sort of balm to my soul.
“The Lord is a hard taskmaster, telling me to rejoice and sing a praise-psalm when things oppress. Naturally, I rebel and quote Proverbs 25:20, ‘As he that taketh away a garment in cold weather… so is he that singeth songs to an heavy heart.’ ‘Sympathize,’ I cry, and He peels off my overcoat of self-pity by saying, ‘Praise, child, and be warmed within!’ Ever notice that? Whenever I want comfort He tells me to ‘count it all joy,’ and then, queerly, I heed, and it all becomes sweet.” -Jim Elliot
“Joy and peace can only come in believing, and that is all I can say to Him tonight. Lord, I believe. I don’t love, I don’t feel, I don’t understand, I can only believe. Bring Thou faith unto fruition, Great Harvest Lord. Produce in me, I pray.” -Jim Elliot
“My soul is night, my heart is steel—
I cannot see, I cannot feel;
For light, for life, I must appeal
In simple faith to Jesus.” -Robert Harkness
“If I have longed for shelter in Thy fold,
When Thou hast given me some fort to hold,
Dear Lord forgive” -C. M. Battersby
“I cry aloud to the Lord;
I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy.
I pour out before him my complaint;
before him I tell my trouble.
When my spirit grows faint within me,
it is you who watch over my way.
In the path where I walk
people have hidden a snare for me.
I cry to you, Lord;
I say, “You are my refuge,
my portion in the land of the living.” -Psalm 142