Love is the whole thing. We are only pieces. ~ Rumi
Tomorrow’s Election Day in the USA. Whoa, it’s been a brutal year. The division. The vitriol. The fracturing. The bombardment from every angle on social media. The influx of crazy “news” sources that people think are real. The memes. The comments. The friends and family members we can’t believe are voting this way or that. The fear. The anger. The trauma.
The reality of our broken system.
But here we are, flawed messy beautiful human beings, left with an important task as tomorrow comes and goes.
Who will we be?
What shall we do?
Whose image will we bear?
How can we participate in healing and hope and unity and kindness and compassion and generosity and reconciliation and justice and mercy and beauty and presence in this upcoming season?
It won’t just drop out of the sky.
We’re Christ’s body here on earth.
And the beautiful part is that we all can play, some how, some way.
I had this one thought this weekend about the election and wanted to share it here, too:
When (the election) comes and goes, we know this for sure: We will be in desperate need of more and more light-bearers, advocates, justice pursuers, dignity restorers, reconcilers, peacemakers, love-cultivators. And we’re all voted in on that.
This is my hope, my prayer, the cry of my heart–that fueled by God’s spirit moving through us, we would reflect these things in whatever ways we could. Not because we’re “supposed to”, not because we “have to” but because we are compelled to because of the deep desire inside of us to participate in good and constructive change.
I think of Gandhi’s words–“Be the change you want to see in the world.”
And the Apostle Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 13: “Now these three remain– faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
Jesus had love as a verb. “Love each other as I have loved you” (John 15:12).
We’ve got a lot of healing, loving, restoring work to do, my friends.
We desperately need more light-bearers. Presence in the darkness. Long-haul lovers. People who can strike a match to light a candle, grab someone’s hand, and stay with them while they crawl toward the light. Who remind me people of their worth, their value. Who bring beauty and art and creativity that stir our souls and bring us to life.
And more justice-pursuers. Men and women of all ages, shapes, and sizes who advocate against unjust laws, use their voice on behalf of change, vote with their feet, shift power, and raise up the voice of the marginalized and oppressed.
We need more dignity restorers. For many, God’s image is buried underneath a lot of rubble and we are called to be part of uncovering of it. Fanning gifts and passions and beauty and hope into flame. Unbinding each other and helping set each other free.
And reconcilers, people who can build bridges. Bring enemies to the table to share meals and stories and discover our common ground. To offer amends and receive forgiveness. To be part of “making things right” and in the words of Isaiah 61, to be part of “repair(ing) places that have been devastated for generations.”
No question, we need more peace-makers. In a violent, divided world, we need people who are willing to practice shalom and bring people together in unity and hope. To create spaces at tables for all kinds of different voices so we can find our common ground. To lay down our swords and stones and reach out in love. To wash each other’s feet.
And lastly, we need more love-cultivators. People who will be part of creating little pockets of love in all kinds of places and ways and shapes and forms. Who nurture safety and help people receive love so they can give it away, too.
I am sure there are many others, but there’s a start on what the USA–and the world, really–might need come Wednesday.
My friend just added a new one–Practitioners of Patience–oh, that is a great addition! (what else would you add?)
When I consider this list, I know so many of you are living out some of these things, inside and outside the confines of “church-as-we-knew-it” and in all kinds of beautiful ways.
Thank you. You give me hope.
God, move us in all kind of creative ways in the days and week and year to come. In some small way, may we bear light, advocate, pursue justice, restore dignity, reconcile, make peace, cultivate love, and practice patience. Amen.
ps: If you want to listen to something non-election (except for the very end), here’s a link to a podcast that recently released with my friend Phil Shepherd on his new show–Are We Missing the Point? We had a great time talking about all the things I love to talk about–equality, mutuality, power, vulnerability, and annoying statements like “we let women lead.” You can listen on Soundcloud or on ITunes. If you listen in, I always love to hear your thoughts.