Whatever the results of today’s election…

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Whatever the result of today’s election, Donald John Trump and Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton are still made in the image of God.

Whatever the result of today’s election, Trump supporters are still God’s children. Clinton voters are too. Yes, all of them. And God wants all his children to be near to him. He mourns when they mourn. He hears them when they sing and when they pray.

Whatever the results of today’s election, there are still reasons to be thankful for this country and the people who run it. We are allowed to vote. We are allowed to speak out against politicians we do not support. We write our own history books. We have running water. We do not live under the imminent threat of foreign invasion.

Whatever the results of today’s election, America will one day be judged by a righteous judge. And we will be held accountable for the things we’ve done as a nation, from bombs dropped in the name of peace to humanitarian aid delivered to war-torn regions. It will be grace that saves us from the ugliness of our sins, our racism, our oppression, our greed, and gluttony. Only grace.

Whatever the result of today’s election, God’s kingdom is coming to this earth and his plan will, one day, be accomplished in full. Whatever the result of today’s election, his will is being done and his kingdom is coming right now, even in the smallest of ways, even when we can’t see it. Even when we don’t understand. 

Don’t get me wrong, I am praying for a specific outcome in today’s election. I voted for a candidate. My heart breaks at the thought of the other candidate winning; anger and frustration rise within me whenever I hear them speak. And I struggle to find the humility to love the other side.

But whatever the result of today’s election, it will be grace that saves me tomorrow. And it will be grace that convicts me to be a citizen of heaven in an earthly kingdom.

Because whatever the result of today’s election, I need to remember that I am one who follows Christ. This defines me. This directs me. This compels me to love others and love the world God has created. To love justice, to walk humbly and in grace.

And it forces me, whatever the results of today’s election, to live life as a conversation with God, and to invite others into that conversation, no matter who they voted for.

It is a simple conversation. It is also infinitely mysterious.

It goes something like this:

The people: “Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy.”

Jesus: “It is finished.”

The people: “Amazing grace, has saved a wretch like me…

 

…whatever the results of today’s election.”

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A Prayer For Ecuador

On Saturday night, Ecuador was hit with its deadliest earthquake since 1987. So far, over 400 people have died and thousands are injured. You can read more about it here, and support the relief efforts by going here.

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Photo source: CNN

Dear Lord,

Today our hearts are burdened for Ecuador. We cannot imagine the terror of those who survived the earthquake. We cannot imagine the despair of those who have lost everything: loved ones, livelihoods, possessions. We cannot imagine the mixture of hope and dread for the rescue workers and families, racing the against clock to save their loved ones. We cannot imagine this, so we pray.

God, we ask that you strengthen all those involved with the rescue efforts. What a exhausting and emotionally taxing endeavor. We pray that you comfort- in some divine and unimaginable way- those who have lost loved ones these past few days.

We pray that you provide resources- food, water, clothing- for those who have lost all their earthly possessions. We pray that you provide compassion among Ecuador’s neighbors and countries around the globe. We pray you provide hope for anyone affected by this tragedy.

Thank you for the joy and relief that comes with every survivor who is rescued from the rubble. But, at the same time, I can’t help but think how horrific it must be for the other families, who wait and wait and wait, to see their loved ones emerge, only to wait in vain.

Lord, as I think of Ecuador, I am reminded of the words of the forty-sixth Psalm: “We shall not fear…though earth give way…though mountains tremble.” This seems impossible right now, oh Lord. Trite, even. How can someone- in the wake of such natural disasters- not be controlled by fear?

I trust that this is only possible in you. So I ask that you would enable those who are suffering from this earthquake to feel your control over their plight. It does not make sense, oh Lord, why you would allow something like this to happen. Really, God. What is the point? What are you doing?

But I pray- from afar- that I would be still and know that you are God, while also praying that you would be with those who suffer in Ecuador.

Amen.

 

A Prayer: Like The Sun

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Dear God,

“We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.” How many times have I prayed this, oh Lord? I cannot count and, frankly, I do not want to. Instead I say it over and over again: “I have not loved you with my whole heart. I have not loved my neighbor as myself.”

You made the sun and it gives life. The bulbs on my windowsill are beginning to emerge. And the sun warms where there is only cold. This weekend I had to work outside for several hours. There was a biting wind but I found relief when I stepped beneath the sun’s rays.

But the sun can also burn and kill. It steals water from desperate tongues in the desert. It scorches skin. Melanoma.

I feel at times like I am as the sun, dear God, mostly in negative ways. I shine on the desert, I pour out my self-absorption and self-devotion, much more than I bring gentle, subtle, and humble relief to those I love who might be shivering in the wind. Where life is needed, where there is need for life to be given, I am more concerned with my own needs. If I were the literally sun I would hide my rays to preserve myself.

Those who struggle to forgive themselves, who struggle to let your grace pour into and through them, they struggle to be a conduit of your grace to others. Help me to forgive myself for the that from which you have also pardoned me. Help me to allow your grace to enter my heart, so that from it, grace might also shine.

You are the Lord of light. Heal me in your light. That I might be a light to others.

Amen.