I had a rather large glass of wine last night while I was watching the election results roll in, and I fell asleep before the finale. I was awakened at 2:16 am by a text from my eldest daughter: “I don’t know if you’re up and saw the results of the election. Be careful going on social media tomorrow.” My youngest also texted me: “Why is he allowed to be the president, mom? I’m so scared.”
Until 3:30 am, I scrolled through Twitter. Celebration-despair-celebration-despair-celebration-celebration-despair-despair. I rode that pendulum until I was sick to my stomach. We are truly a divided nation.
Oddly, I woke this morning with two musical theater lyrics screaming through my head. From Wicked, “I hope you’re happy.” From Hamilton, “I hope you’re satisfied.” I felt vengeful for a solid hour. I wanted to blast all of my anti-HRC people. (That’s what they were, too: anti-HRC. None of them was pro-Trump or pro-Johnson. They were all viciously anti-HRC.) “LOOK AT WHAT YOU’VE DONE,” I considered texting them. “I HOPE YOU’RE HAPPY.”
Then I got on Facebook and started seeing all the “Jesus is still on his throne” posts and the “God’s really in charge anyway” posts, and I wanted to throw my phone across the room. Don’t freak out, family: I actually still believe both of those statements, but I believe they’re long-term, overarching Truths, not in-the-immediate-wake-of-this-particular-election Truths, and real people are suffering right now. To offer such platitudes isn’t helpful to the people around us for whom this election will have disastrous results–especially when it seems evangelical Christians actually put Trump in the White House. Are we saying God’s actually all thumbs-up with a Trump presidency? What message is that sending to marginalized people?
If you’re a Christ-follower and you posted “Jesus is still on his throne” as a way to stave off your own anxiety about what the world’s going to be like beginning January 20, 2017, then okay. Except I implore you to remember that Jesus, from his throne, commands us to do some hard things to care for vulnerable people. And it seems that will likely matter more than ever in the four years to come.
In other words, that whole “love trumps hate thing”? That’s Truth. But we can’t just say it. We have to do it.
And that’s where I landed this morning. I’m angry and discouraged and disappointed and completely bewildered, but I will not quit. I will redouble my efforts toward justice. I will love the people around me. All of them. (Which will be stupid difficult at times.) I will use my privilege for the benefit of others.
I don’t care who’s sitting in the Oval Office. I will still do good.
You will too, right?