In the past, I’ve given politicians the benefit of the doubt. I’ve generally believed that they were people like me. People who wanted to make a difference in the world. People who were probably good people, but just believed differently than I do. People told me they were power-hungry and corrupt, but I didn’t really buy that it was mostly that way.
Now I sit here, and I weep for my country.
My eyes and ears burned by the divisiveness, hatred, and bigotry so readily and unapologetically spewed from and to every direction.
My throat is catching as I struggle for words. Are there so few people willing to fight this new terrorism with kindness and grace and dignity and love?
My heart is breaking as brothers and sisters and mothers and fathers are separated by flames fueled by blind ignorance and blatant disregard for the voices we refuse to hear, cheering on cruelty.
But I’m guilty, too.
Maybe I would be less surprised if I opened my eyes a bit further, or if I had only opened them earlier
If I could pause speaking out, if only for a moment, I might perceive the voices of those whose concerns are not mine.
If I would perceive more than blind hatred and bigotry, I might understand the concerns that plague the hearts of my brothers and sisters.
I’m not calling for a change of opinion. I’m simply asking myself (and you, if you’ll join me) if I might stop for a moment, and listen. Particularly, listen to people we disagree with. I have hope that most people are reasonable. I think that most people have legitimate concerns and fears about who the future president will be. I appreciate that those concerns and priorities are probably different than mine.
This divisive attitude has us drawing each other into caricatures of the people we are and have been created to be. We are not the thugs or bigots that we’ve been hastily painted as.
We are all whole people, or at least, that’s what we’re created to be. We don’t need to agree with one another to treat one another with love, respect, and compassion.
We are called to love our neighbors, not try to weasel out of caring for each other.
Even as I lament, I can love.
Thanks be to God.