Now What??? A Christian response to a Trump Presidency
Chances are I'm not the only one staring into my coffee cup this morning wondering what happened. Some are wondering how they could have won by such a large margin. Others are wondering how so many people could have voted for Trump.
Before I go any further in my response to last night's results I would like to tell you a story.
In 2010 I moved onto a street in Seattle in a little neighborhood on Queen Anne Hill. Our neighbors, "Tom" and "Andrew" were a gay couple - one black and one white. Across the street was an unemployed architect and his family working hard to get through all the layoffs and years of scraping by. Down from them was a wealthy couple who were from some European country I can't remember now. Across from them was a white middle class family, "The Parkers", who belonged to a church which was very vocal about homosexuality being a sin.
Republicans, Democrats, homosexuals, conservative Evangelicals, white, black, immigrant, Jewish... this street had it covered.
About a week after we moved in there was a party.
I remember sitting at Tom's house while he and his partner grilled salmon. The Parkers poured drinks and served them to all of us sitting in the living room while everyone's kids roamed the back yard. A gay couple and a pro traditional marriage couple throwing a party together. One observation rolled through my mind :
Diversity doesn't have to be divisive.
It was the first neighborhood event I attended since we had moved in. I hadn't ever seen anything like this before and if Snapchat had been a thing then I would have documented the whole evening. Because it was new to me and beautiful.
There were yearly carnivals on our little side of the hill. When Tom's partner was sick, people brought food. When the Parkers got a vacation cabin in the mountains everyone started planning a group get-a-way.. The street had a book club and regular meals together. People were seen for more than their census box. People were neighbors.
I keep finding myself thinking back to that little street in Queen Anne this morning after the election.
Which brings me back to today.
America spoke loudly last night. Some Americans heard "Religious liberty! Anti-establishment! Economic growth!" . Others heard " Racism, sexism, homophobia!".
I'll let smarter people break down what was really being said in all the noise of the election. But the fact of the matter is that now the world watches to see what happens next.
All eyes are on us, the Church. What will we do now?
I hope as followers of Jesus we show them that we are more than pro-Trump and anti-Trump.
How do we do that?
We look the transgender barista in the eyes and ask them about their day. They need to know they are seen and that they matter - regardless of how we feel about their sexual decisions.
We invite the neighborhood over for dinner - with all their colors, religions and sexual identities. Love is not conditional nor always comfortable.
We learn to hold on to what we believe in a way that opens doors and doesn't shut them in others faces. I'm not ashamed about what I believe the Bible says. I think we can be clear and kind at the same time.
We speak softly realizing that our words are falling on tender places. We allow people to grieve things we do not understand or may not even agree with.
We make sure that the Church is a safe place for victims of abuse to heal.
We show the families of those with disabilities that we support them by providing practical assistance and we make room for wheelchairs at our own dinner tables.
Our conversations will be seasoned with grace as we work with our community to address the very real prejudices and injustices happening.
We ensure that religious liberty isn't just for those of our own faith.
Relationships will go beyond assumptions into actual conversations about why someone feels that way or voted that way.
We remember the greater Story isn't for our own benefit but so that the world may find Hope. Because in the end it is Always. Only. Jesus.
I don't know how to bridge all the gaps that America is looking at right now but I know what we do next.
"He has shown you, O Man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God." - Micah 6:8