Signs of the Times.
It’s been about a week.
Still feeling shocked? Angry? Disillusioned? Stressed? All of these.
As I settle into what happened in our country, here’s what I believe happened and is our new old reality.
1. Sure I don’t like the President-Elect got elected but I didn’t fully embrace the Democratic platform either. The vote by the silent group that didn’t want us to know they voted for Trump was hopefully more about Change. People are tired of political correctness, joblessness, economic hardships, and political fabrication.
2. Black lives still matter. This movement will grow stronger as people understand that the blacks and the browns have been getting screwed and abused systemically for decades. To ignore this is to be a historical revisionist. Watch the documentary 13th.
3. Radicalism will increase. When voices feel silenced or unheard, violence occurs. If you don’t understand the fear and anger, you’re out of touch with the reality of the immigrant and the marginalized.
4. Racism and prejudice are systemic in the church. Elections of leaders is a reflection of the very people who elected them. Let’s be honest, Jim Crow is alive even in our churches. If 81% of evangelicals voted for Trump, it’s glaringly evident that racism and misogyny are not the most important issues to us as a Christian group (I know this is not all Christians but man, 81% of the vote). Sure we’re for change but at what cost? My guess is that many didn’t like either candidate. Change again was the factor. Yet what is clear to me is -if both candidates were in our minds morally deficient, then we looked at other factors to help us pull a particular lever. So we are pro life in the womb but not outside of it. We want supreme court justices to weigh in on our agenda but are willing to capitulate when it comes to character. Didn’t we tell people character matters.
5. The demarcation line has been drawn for churches. The election exposed the white cultural attitude that is prevalent in churches, perhaps not as much in the major cities of our nation, but still do you feel safe in some parts of rural America? Expect the continued mistrust and eventually the exodus of young people from predominantly white, male led institutions. If you’re not diverse as an organization, you won’t be trusted. Diversity is no longer an option, it’s expected. So what does your board look like? Who is privately and publicly the face of your organization? Who really leads? And it’s not only about color, it’s about culture, socio-economic justice and gender equality. There are people of color that are not colorful in their convictions. They have sold out to what they know in their hearts is a very homogenized Christianity in America.
What’s helping me deal with this now you ask?
I’m praying a lot. Thinking of what I can do in small and maybe bigger ways. And then I’m acting on what I see to do. For me, it’s the work I do with marginalized leaders locally and globally. Whatever is clear to me, I’m going to try and act on it, immediately.
I’m quoting the Lord’s prayer as I walk throughout the day. As my friend said, if you pray through that prayer 10 times you can’t help but start to feel peace.
See the destruction. Weep. Like this man in the Sacred Scriptures named Nehemiah, maybe we need to walk our nation and our cities. Perhaps then we’ll see the walls have been breached. If we get out of cars and take our eyes of the phone for a moment maybe we’ll see the people. Listen. Do you hear it? There’s a cry in the ground. Can you see it? There’s still a beauty in the barrenness.
It is a time for mourning and sadness for the good that has been lost. And it is time for repentance for our marginalization of the other, racism, gender inequality, mass incarceration and the bullying we’re known for in America. Systemic injustice is not really anything new. The walls have been destroyed for decades. It’s just been hidden for many until now.
But the walls can be rebuilt. I have hope there are young leaders who see the destruction and will be inspired to build. And those of us who are older, will give ourselves with youthful vigor to be part of this vanguard of hope that will emerge from these ashes. God help us. God lead us.