Four years ago, when the candidate I voted for lost the Presidential election I was unhappy. Yet, in the midst of being on the losing side, a little bit of that Hope Obama preached about rubbed off on me. I truly wanted to give him a chance and I understood (and even appreciated) the historical moment that I got to witness by seeing him elected as the first President of color in America’s history.
Sadly, I don’t have that hope today.
Of course as a Christian, I do realize that my hope is not in men or government, but in Jesus. I cling to that faith in my disappointment and that will be more than enough to sustain me. Still, to every thing there is a season.
I think it is perfectly legitimate to grieve today because while there was clear winner and a clear loser (for which I am thankful – no recounts!) the fact is, we are more divided than I have ever seen this country in my life. That didn’t change. In fact, last nights close calls in so many states and the split between Popular and Electoral votes showed a very clear and deepening divide. Frankly, that concerns me.
I feel like conservatives and liberals were running two different elections. One was based on social issues and the other was based on the economy. Apples and oranges. What some might consider a victory on one hand may prove to be very costly on the other. As I read through my social network feeds, I felt personally assaulted by posts filled with bitterness and disregard for anyone who disagreed with their point of view. Apply that sentence to either side of the aisle. Bottom line: it’s not a message of hope. There is no reaching across the aisle today.
I hope my liberal readers will understand that we aren’t there yet. That doesn’t mean we stonewall and refuse to work together. It just means that half the country is reeling and we all knew it would be that way no matter who won. This is where my wounded heart is right now. I am sad. I am angry. I am hurt by what I see happening online. Working together will be a slow healing process.
I’ve never been affected by the outcome of an election in this way. Yes, I was surprised by Obama’s win. But more than that, I was surprised at my own reaction to what was happening before my eyes. Maybe this is what happens when you vote as a mother. This is the first time I have done that and it feels like there is just SO much at stake.
I am still trying to work through the hidden meaning behind all of that, but for today I will speak to my soul. Did you know you can do that? Even if you don’t feel hopeful, you can minister to your own soul with words of truth, just like King David did:
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God – Psalm 43:5 (ESV)
I don’t know what happens next. But I think that’s a pretty good start.
*photo courtesy of crdotx