It's been a difficult week. One doesn't need look far to see the hate and ugliness that has unfolded since Tuesday's elections. I have shed more than a few tears.
Living and growing up in the Midwest, as a farmer's daughter, granddaughter and niece, I know that all my friends and family didn't take their decisions lightly when they went to the polls on Tuesday. They voted for the candidate they believe they can trust in as they listened to their platforms. Many are hoping for change--change for what they believe to be for the better.
The thing that has struck me is how quickly we have been to judge one another. So often, I think our judgements are confounded by fears especially when we haven't met someone who is different than us. I have loved growing up on the prairies of ND but it truly wasn't until I went to college and seminary that I was exposed to new experiences that showed me my own white privilege and introduced me to awesome friends who just happened to be people of color. And to be honest, I am constantly learning what it means to be privileged because of the color of my skin. Yet when we really get to know someone and really listen to each other, I think we all can be changed especially when we testify to the truth and truly love ALL Gods beloved children.
I know that we each choose the candidate we can trust in and sometimes that candidate doesn't win. But it seems to me this time it's different and it's different for a reason. I have listened to my friends in their black and brown bodies who are afraid for their lives and the lives of those they loved. I have listened to my women friends who are triggered by Trump's words because of their own experiences of harassment.
I felt the impact of this more than it ever has just a few days ago. I worried when a friend didn't answer my texts or instant messages. When she finally called, two days after the election, I sat and listened to her as she questioned how she'll get through the next four years with President Elect Trump in power. Everything about him--his actions, his voice,etc--triggers her PTSD. As I sat quietly listening, I wanted so desperately to take it away. I wanted to reach through my phone, hug her and let her know that together we will walk through this time.
But are my words more than action? Or are they just words? A friend that I was privileged to meet this summer at the churchwide assembly; a beautiful brown skinned child of God, asked us her white allies, "What are you willing to give up? She also continued, "Words without actions are dead!" For me, that means fully without exception living out my calling to diakonia and the words of Micah 6:8 "But what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with our God!?"
Her words have been ringing in my ear all day. And my conclusion is that I don't want my words to be dead words. I want ALL Gods beloved children to be truly welcomed on this earth. I want my words to embody the love that I know God calls us to; the love that was shown us in Jesus who unquestionably wasn't afraid to sit with tax collectors and sinners--sinners like you and ME and everyone in between. I want my words to constantly and continually testify to the truth.
Will you too testify to the truth?
Will your words be more than just words?
Will we together let love; Gods love trump hate?
Because truly this time is an opportunity for us to testify!