President Donald Trump. Dear God. I still haven’t said the words out loud, just typing them there was more jarring than I properly know how to process right now. I just… I did not see that coming. I didn’t recognize America last night, because it looked nothing like the one I see everyday. I knew our country was divided and that hate was running rampant, but I underestimated it. And I was shocked last night. Stunned. Dumbfounded. Heartbroken. Afraid. And I’m still all of those things today, but also… I’m awake. I’m recalculating. I’m furious. And I am so very hopeful.
Listen, nothing about this election was clear-cut. There is no one to blame because EVERYTHING is to blame. My own personal journey took me from Bernie Babe, to reluctant Hillary supporter, to a fully integrated #PantsuitNation aficionado. I wasn’t supporting Hillary because she was the lesser of two evils, I was supporting her because she was the better of the two candidates. And as a feminist, I was ready for a woman president. I was annoyed at the blatantly uneven standards she was being held to, but impressed at the grace she showed under fire and I fully expected her to win. Honestly, I think we all did. It’s why we were so comfortable being so flippant. Because Hillary was going to win and nothing was going to change. And all the racism, sexism, jingoism and misogyny that had been brought to the surface would learn a valuable after-school-special lesson and go back to sleep with a few less teeth. And we’d go back to sleep too…
But we’re wide awake now. To America as it actually is. And I don’t like it. America… you are raggedy. You are hateful, you are selfish, you are entitled, ignorant, arrogant… you are Donald Trump. You don’t read. You think you have all the best ideas. You don’t apologize. You don’t think you need forgiveness. And you use God to justify your ugliness.
Listen, I don’t know what you saw in your Facebook/Instagram/Twitter feed, I can only speak to what I saw and I think the most disheartening thing in all of this was how many Christians so easily aligned themselves with someone so hateful, hurtful and dismissive to so many segments of humanity. Who so easily shrugged off the slings and arrows being aimed at “other” brothers and sisters to forward their own agenda. Who could so easily claim the gospel while denying the very essence of it: sacrificial love for the least of these.
But you know what? It’s fine. Because it turns out they were right. God did it. God heard the cries of his people and answered. Their prayers for a Republican president. And our prayers for a revolution. We wanted this. We wanted to break the system, to confront the past, to see real, tangible and radical change… but we wanted it comfortably. And comfort and change just don’t mix.
We lost a battle on Election Day, but I truly believe it’s because God knows we can win the war.
This whole presidential campaign has been opening wounds, opening conversations and opening our eyes to each other. It has been revealing people in a way I have NEVER experienced before. Think about it. You have recategorized your friendships in 2016. You have people who you genuinely love but who you know can’t see their bias, some who can’t see past it and on the farthest extremes, people who you blocked/unfollowed in the final and following hours of the election. And then you have allies. People who have chosen to understand that they might not understand, but who are committed to trying. And some you’ve known for years, but some have been legitimate surprises to you. They are the reason last night left you so gobsmacked because THEY are the America you know. But with them, you’ve been reading the advance copy of what America could be. And now we have to fight to make sure it becomes the actual story of our nation.
How? I don’t know. We’ll figure that out. But for today, I just want to say to everyone who is afraid, who is hurt and who is worried – I hear you. I’m with you. And God is with us. Yes, He’s been in all of this in the same way He’s in all things because: omnipresence. But if you’re trying to pin His pleasure to a particular political party line…
We’ve made God so small. So American. So conservative. So white. But He isn’t any of those things.
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other. If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.
For all the people who prayed for God’s will to be done in this election, who declared it in the name of His son Jesus, please remember that He walked this earth as an oppressed, disenfranchised, Middle Eastern man. And died at the hand of religious leaders who were afraid of an influencer who didn’t fit their mold, didn’t covet their company, didn’t share their prejudices and wouldn’t stop healing, accepting and loving the broken, the oppressed and the outcast. Please remember how the religious rejoiced the day He died. And how darkness fell. And then remember how He rose and how He rallied His allies. And how they turned the world upside down. And then tell me who should really be nervous right now.
Look, we’ve got a fight on our hands. But what did we think we were finding our allies for?
What happened is not okay, but it’s okay. (We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.) We’ve been built for this.