Monday, November 14, 2016
In the short history of the United States, last week was a tumultuous one.
Americans are deeply divided in our feelings about the outcome of this election. To me, one of the most grievous results is that some members of our society feel that they've been cast aside and seen as worthless. God help us if we ever treat any person as worthless. I pray that we are reinvigorated to extend love to all and hatred to none.
One of the saddest things I've witnessed in the past week in this country is a tendency among citizens to retreat into their sympathetic camps. Just when we need to be reaching out in love to all our neighbors, we're pulling back into our own tribes. We're listening only to those who share our point of view.
Maybe that kind of reaction was necessary and inevitable as an immediate response to a factious election. But I would dearly love to see a difference going forward.
I'm talking mostly to myself here. I have good work to do, and last week I was distracted from it to such a degree that I'm appalled at my own behavior.
No more. There are good deeds to be done, good fights to be fought. There are hurting people right here in my community to whom I need to extend love.
Yesterday I was reminded by a friend from another country--a nation with a much longer history than mine--of this advice penned by a man from yet another country. C.S. Lewis wrote these words in the middle of the 20th century, and they ring as true today as when he penned them.
My dear Wormwood,
Be sure that the patient remains completely fixated on politics. Arguments, political gossip, and obsessing on the faults of people they have never met serve as an excellent distraction from advancing in virtue, character formation, and the things the patient can control. Make sure to keep the patient in a constant state of angst, frustration, and general disdain towards the rest of the human race in order to avoid any kind of charity or inner peace from further developing. Be sure the patient continues to believe that the problem is "out there" in the "broken system" rather than recognizing there is a problem with himself.
Keep up the good work,
In other words, God help me, I must exemplify the change I want to see in the world. I must "do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with my God" (Micah 6:8).
This is what I want to remember in the coming days. Maybe you'd like to join me?