where’s my hope?

Two days ago I asked a sincere, simple question on social media: “how can you/me be part of the solution?”

Aware of the current moment of cultural tension and uncertainty — which expands way beyond the electoral wrangling — here is a snippet of what others had to say…

Pray. Humbly consider that we may not have all the answers and may not always be right. Look for common ground. Join together to do good. Remember we are all Americans. Engage in constructive dialogue. Don’t attack others with differing opinions. Listen with humility. Be willing to engage in/even initiate uncomfortable conversations. Step into places where you are not the majority. Learn rather than judge or correct. Accept responsibility when wrong. Forgive. Forgive again. Be open to other people’s solutions over insistence of your own. Be ready to change. Communicate. Share Jesus. Love. Have patience with everyone. Resist the lure to adopt solely a Democrat or Republican way of thinking. Be an independent thinker. Recognize the value of people. Look for all the ways we are the same. Make the effort to really listen and learn. Extend grace. Be kind. Do something different. Quit waiting for the other to meet you in the middle first. Commit to asking a lot of questions. Learn another’s story. Deconstruct some of your assumptions about how we are different. Stop dehumanizing the other party, candidate, and voters for the momentary pleasure of a funny meme or release of rage. Summon the courage to open the door of politics around the Thanksgiving table. Don’t allow healthy skepticism to slip into a paranoia that assumes the worst in everyone else. Recognize your perspective can be narrow. Know you have blind spots. Stop justifying social media bullying. Kindly interact. Provide for each other. Smile. Pray for individuals and country officials. Know God. Just love. Be willing to question yourself and assume someone with an opposing position also has a legitimate reason. Remember another’s journey is different from yours; your journey is not more right. Hear others. Care to understand. Know that God is in control, but He doesn’t promise things are going to be roses and sunshine. Have gratitude. Take off your stubborn and self-centered fear guard and see the good that comes from all situations. Fight for what you believe in. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Stop believing everything the media tells us is true. Start seeing that we have more in common than we don’t. Practice compassion. Let go of what we cannot control. Empower, uplift, and encourage each other. Recognize the opportunity before us now. Pray for the President-Elect. Relish reasonable, nonpartisan governance. Recognize that our ideological diversity can be a strength. Stick to our calling. Spread the good news of the gospel. Ask questions of each other to ponder rather than give answers and assert advice. Give smiles, grace, and continue to take care of our families and friends — no matter their politics. Listen more and judge less. Realize that the media (on both sides) is propaganda. Pray for God’s will, repentance, a turning to Him, healing, and reconciliation in our nation. Become active in your community and state. Hold those that are in power accountable, even if they are “your people.” Be intentional in creating and developing relationships. Seek out others that might not be likeminded. Come together as “We the People” and get the politicians out of the way, recognizing they often stir the pot, instill fear and cause division. Love like Jesus; look at others through His Heart. Ask questions. Practice unconditional love in order to create common ground. Recognize that healing will take every single one of us; it will take me. Stop the finger pointing. Do unto others. Lead by example. Show the world your integrity. Remember Joe Biden’s words: “We may be opponents but we are NOT enemies.” Recognize the difference between an opponent and an enemy. Never forget that God created the other person, too.

That’s a lot. I know. But it’s enough.

My hope doesn’t come from a person, party, president or any election result. And allow me to suggest that if it did, it would be a hope that is fleeting. All of the above have changed and will change again.

Hence, what’s not fleeting? What can we put our hope in that won’t be any different 4, 10, 27 years from now? 

I continue to return to my faith, learning to love God and love his people. 

Friends, however you voted, know that at least, approximately 75 million people voted differently than you. Looking down on them and thinking you know best is not loving nor respecting God’s people. Remember in whose image each of us is made.

Where is my hope? 

In not allowing politics to become my religion…

… and in all the wisdom and encouragement found in those above, who wish to do the same.