What I have felt toward our leading presidential nominees for the past year can be summed up by one of many similar viral memes…
For most of the year I actually ignored all things political because I just didn’t need the negativity in my life. But as my news feeds filled with more and more evidence that we were screwed no matter who took possession of the White House for the next four years, eventually I slipped into that bitter place along with so many in our nation. Disgust and anger and frustration and bitterness overcame me.
Yesterday, my family participated in a couple of events. One was a day of fasting and prayer for America. The other was a “Lifting the US Election–World Meditation.” As my family meditated with the intention of spreading peace and healing and love throughout our nation yesterday afternoon, my oldest daughters and I felt something powerful, electric, and undeniable happening. My son, seeing and hearing us describe it, wanted to understand. We tried to explain, but the truth is I don’t really know what happened. All I know is that something intensely beautiful happened in our living room yesterday. If anything remotely like it was happening in the homes of others who participated in yesterday’s fasting and meditation events, then I have great reason to hope for this country.
Perhaps the greater miracle, however, is what happened in my heart tonight. As I bounced my baby Hope to sleep, pondering tomorrow’s Election Day, a scripture began rolling over and over through my head:
But love ye your enemies, and do good, . . . and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven (Luke 6:35-37).
In a flash, I suddenly realized what God was calling me to do. He was calling me to stop sending my bitterness and disgust toward those two people our media make it so easy for us to hate. God was calling me to love Donald Trump. He was calling me to love Hillary Clinton. He was calling me to put down my stones.
He lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her (John 8:7).
I don’t have to love what they do. I don’t have to love what they say. But He is asking me to love their hearts and souls. Donald Trump is my brother. Hillary Clinton is my sister. And regardless of what they have said or done, God loves them. Each of them came into this world, trailing clouds of glory from God who is our home. Perhaps that glory has been dimmed, but the seeds of glory are their birthright as children of God.
When I was a teenager, performing often in piano recitals, my piano teacher would often do something she called “zipping you up.” Before piano recitals, she would hold her hands several inches away from our bodies and send positive thoughts and energy toward us moving from our feet to our heads. She told us about classes she had attended in which they had conducted experiments with positive and negative thoughts. The positive thoughts of her classmates had positively effected the performances of individuals performing in front of the class. The same was true of negative thoughts, but their effect was, of course, negative. Even when the performers had no idea whether the thoughts directed toward them were positive or negative, their effect was still positive or negative. No placebo involved.
Try to wrap your mind around all of the negative thoughts being directed toward Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton for the past year+. We have been, metaphorically, zipping them down (way way down), day in and day out for a very long time. What if, instead, every heart within this great nation was praying for their welfare, their strength, their families, and for their hearts to perform well their labors? What if we were zipping them up instead? Can you imagine the power of those positive thoughts?
I’ll end with the timeless words of C.S. Lewis:
It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations — these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit — immortal horrors or everlasting splendors. … Next to the blessed sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses.
Related Post you might enjoy: The Accuser and the Advocate