Uncomfortable truth: The America I woke up to on November 9 is the exact same America that existed before November 8.
This election has been long, grueling, painful, and… a mirror. It has put a VERY bright spotlight things that I like to conveniently forget exist or pretend aren’t a big deal. Things like corruption, lies, pride, selfishness, racism, sexism, and willingness to say or do anything in pursuit of power. The last 18 months have stripped us of dignity and exposed the truth of who we really are while we tried in panic to grab anything available to cover our shame.
No wonder I was anxious for November 8 to come and go. I wanted to go back to living in denial that my country isn’t actually “like that”. That I myself am not “like that”. That I do not in direct or indirect ways marginalize people different from me, or pursue my own good at the expense of truth or the well-being of others. If I could just get through the election… (Confession: I made every effort to hide under a rock on election night. I holed up at home with no internet or social media, went to bed early. I didn’t want to process what was happening.)
Except it didn’t end on November 8. One of these two unsavory people WOULD be the face of my country for the next four years. Try as I might, I couldn’t escape that.
I didn’t vote for him, and I didn’t vote for her. I didn’t want throw my lot in with either and thus either condone things I find abhorrent or – worse – have to admit that some of those abhorrent sins can be found in my own life. I voted for neither, yet I am an American citizen and one of them would be representing my country as my president.
American did not become MORE undignified after November 8; we just now have a president elect who reminds us of the kind of problems that STILL EXIST in our country and in our world. And that if we are putting our faith in leaders of this world, we will ALWAYS be disappointed.
Which means that though the election season is finally over, I still had to wake up on November 9 and confront that this IS the world I live in – full of traits that display we are broken, fallen, selfish, fearful, angry – and that I continue to fight my own personal battle in which I’m reluctant to trust that God’s way is better than my own.
So I’m turning once again to Jesus, the only place to turn and the place I should have been turning all along. Mourning the sins of my country. Confessing my own sins, and confessing that I’ve gotten too comfortable with them. I’ve forgotten that this is a war, and my enemy is not flesh and blood – not Trump, not Hillary, not Democrats or Republicans – but the evil powers of darkness that want to remove hope and love and knowledge of God’s incredible grace and replace them with shame.
It’s time to once again take up my armor, to fight, and to pray, asking the Creator of the universe to intervene in this world, in my country, and in my life. And use me to further his kingdom and show his glory. Regardless of who my president is.
Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm…
Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion.