“For while we were still weak, at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person- though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die- but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”- Romans 5:6-8
When I was a kid, if I had a loose tooth, I would obsessively push on it. After pushing to a certain angle long enough, it would hurt, but the pain was oddly satisfying in some ways. I just couldn’t stop pulling on it.
I feel the same way about conversations, both face-to-face on through social media, concerning this election.
It is grieving me deeply yet I can’t stop looking at it.
I grew up in a very Republican home in the middle of a dominantly Republican small town in the South. I participated (sometimes to my own dismay) in Cotillion, spent some time at private school, and went on to join a sorority in college.
The token Conservative, right?
In the middle of college, God broke through to my heart in a big way, and I decided to make a career change. I knew I wanted to get in a helping profession, yet I couldn’t quite figure out where. In my mind at the time, Christian counseling would involve a middle-aged couple in a mini-van, wearing turtlenecks and talking about their minor disputes or rebel teen (stereotype much?) While I now know this to be ridiculous, through much prayer I found Social Work and- while most people strongly encouraged me that it was “not the profession for someone like me”- it felt like it lined up with my Christian views more than any other career path. The vision seemed to focus on helping those who were hurting, minimized, or broken. I went on to get both my bachelor’s degree and master’s in Social Work. In both groups, in ways, I was somewhat of the token Christian. Much to my confusion, this “helping profession” did not include many believers at all. In fact, many of the people who had been in the field for years were some of the most bitter, angry, cynical people I had ever come across.
I had not given these two seasons of my life much thought in many years- until this week.
I think we can all agree that this election has brought out the worst in basically all of us. As I have scrolled through my newsfeed on Facebook, I have literally been brought to tears by the anger, arrogance, fear, miscommunication that I have seen from pretty much everyone. Social media has become both a world wide web therapy room and a boxing ring.
“Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily. It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking, it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it (it pays no attention to a suffered wrong). It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail. Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless, under all circumstances, and it endures everything (without weakening). – pieces of 1 Corinthians 13
This is not another, “this is where one side is getting it wrong”. It’s not a, “Christians get it together” or, “I’m sorry for where Christians are getting it wrong” post. This is just me, a Southern, upper class, small town white sorority girl turned hipster somewhat liberal Social Worker for a season now simply a Christ-follower- saying that while we are all getting it wrong Jesus has always gotten it right and this is what perfect Love truly is. This is why I’m a Christian. I am a Christian because of the reality that our sin is real and that in the midst of all of our junk He chose us. I am a Christian because I can never get it right but He already did at the cross. I am a Christian because- at the very moment when things seemed most hopeless and despairing- Christ died and was raised at the cross. I can’t filter my faith through the lenses of politics- it’s a faulty, fading system. I refuse to tell you that Jesus would have sided with any political party- His kingdom is so Other. I also can’t promise you that everything He says will make you feel comfortable or good in your lifestyle choices or spending habits or personal opinions- that’s not true Love. Yet, I am comforted that in spite of all the confusion and chaos and getting it wrong down here- He has promised to make all things right.
My citizenship is in heaven and this is the Kingdom I’m living for- so, in the days to come, I pray to not find myself attempting to do anything but know Him more. I want to dwell in His Word- spend time with Him and begin to understand this radical Love that was passionate about the souls of imperfect man.
In light of that, weeks like this just confirm all the more my love for the Savior of all the world. So today, I will confess the hardened, bitter parts of my heart to Him and I will try to fix my eyes on His perfection and His glory and His promise that He is making all things right.
He is faithful.
In all things.
At all times.
No matter what.
To Him be the glory forever and ever.