In this season in which we find ourselves, as we are beginning to restructure how we do most everything in light of the pandemic and as we stand in long lines to vote (don’t let the long lines or the news or false rumors about voter fraud discourage you – VOTE! You do matter and your vote does count!) let’s remember this:
There is not one single person we will ever encounter that God does not love.
God created every human being in God’s image. Yes, even the person who just popped into your head that makes you so very angry. And George Floyd, Donald Trump, Joe Biden, Breonna Taylor, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Amy Coney Barrett, and the people on that news channel you dislike so much. Yes, even that person you just tried to discredit on social media.
God created and loves:
Every person who has protested and marched against police brutality and the racial injustice systemic in our country.
Every person who denies there is systemic racial injustice in our country and every person who is asking the hard questions of themselves to uncover their hidden biases because they can no longer deny racism still exists.
Every person who has raged and looted and destroyed property during protests because their pain has led to anger beyond comprehension.
Every person who thinks pointing weapons at those they disagree with is the answer to our issues with violence.
Every person who has worked for unity and peace within their communities.
Every person who does or does not wear a mask in public.
Every person who is standing in the line to vote who is voting differently that we choose to vote.
These are difficult words to write/read/say and it is even more difficult to live them. We can’t place blame for the division in our country on whoever is in the Oval Office. We are, each and every one of us, responsible for our own behavior and if we want the world to be a more compassionate and loving place it is up to us with God’s help to live on earth as it is in heaven. Regardless of the model set for us by our country’s leadership, we are responsible for our own choices about how we treat each other.
To love as God loves means we don’t tolerate injustice or aggression (covert or overt) toward anyone. It also means we don’t react with condemnation but with personal accountability, asking ourselves “how does my response reflect the image of God in me?”
How does my response reflect the Image of God in me?
Something is going to happen on November 3, 2020. Someone will be elected President. And regardless of what we think of that person, God loves that person as God loves everyone. Our role in the political process is to cast our vote for the person we think is best for the greater good of our country and then (are you ready for this) to be the best Jesus Follower we can be in everything we think, say, and do, whoever is elected.
Jesus teaches us to respect the dignity of every (yep, even that person) human being, and commands us to love. This is one of the many ways we “give to the emperor the things that belong to the emperor and to God that which belong to God” (Matthew 22:21).
Vote and may the peace of God be with you always.