Well here we are at the end of a week that has been…well…interesting. In many ways, and like a lot of people, I was actually pretty anxious for it to be over. I was not, however, simply anxious for an end to be rid of what has been, in my lifetime anyway, the most grisly car accident of a campaign ever. I was also anxious to be through it because there was simply nothing else “on.” Whether it was the flood of 24 hour news stations unable to get enough of emails and shock talk sound bytes, or whether it was the social media circus of “unfriend me NOW if you don’t agree…” all of it has been rather ugly. And I don’t think the result has had any significant impact on how much uglier things have become. Kids in significantly red states getting bullied for being “with her.” Students in my own district here in deep blue Washington getting equal treatment for wanting to “make America great again.” Ugliness…everywhere…with a few bright lights and sage folks sounding a bit like Old Turtle in the midst of the storm.
One of the most interesting bright lights has been from a growing number of people who are feeling a strong call to action. Admittedly, most are those licking the wounds of defeat, but not all. As much as the result, there seems to be a bit of self-reflection on the part of many over this whole process, especially its ugliness. Kind of like a simmering social media self-reflection that echoes a bit of, “Ask not what your country can do for you…” I know this because I saw glimmers during the campaign that are starting to now forge into a greater movement. And it seems to involve those who were frustrated by their presidential choices as much as it does any other group.
So I asked myself where I fit in all of this, and that got me thinking why I was MOST anxious to see this campaign be over already. That one’s easy. During the campaign, I had to search for information on what I think are much bigger issues in our world. The biggest of these – for me at least – is the incredible refugee crisis in Syria. I was tired of NOT hearing about this. So, the day after the election (and this had been planned a couple weeks in advance), I met with a couple pastors and other church reps who are planning a benefit bike ride for refugee services in our area (Reform: Ride for Refugees). Biking and concern for “the foreigner in our land” (Leviticus 19:34) is “the place where [my] deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet” (Frederick Buechner). I’m also baking 10 apple pies for Thanksgiving to raise money for refugee relief locally – same reason.
My point here is not to sell you on some particular cause. It is to wonder with you – whether Tuesday left you triumphant, defeated, or feeling like either choice was a bad dream – where you are engaged. Where are your gifts being lived out for the sake of the other? Where are you an active part in God’s future, which according to Jeremiah, is actually filled with hope?