Tomorrow is the midterm election. There is a palpable undercurrent of fear running through our communities and states as we stand on the precipice of yet another divisive election. My social media newsfeed is erupting in links to political articles, declarations of how God wants us to vote, and pronouncements of candidates or parties as stupid or vile. As I write this, the tv is on in the background and every commercial is a hate-fueled diatribe against one candidate or another.
And I just don’t know. It all feels so disjointed and angry. And fearful.
Regardless of which side of the aisle you sit on, there is an idea that everything is going wrong.
Them vs Us.
It is hard to hold on to Hope. To Love. To the idea of loving our Neighbor.
Truthfully, there are going to be a lot of angry, disappointed people when the results roll in late Tuesday night. No matter what happens, a large portion of the population is going to be upset, frustrated, and fearful.
As someone who struggles within the grip of fear and anxiety so often, I know, that fear is not a place to live. And so my heart is broken to know that so many are scared and hurting. That so many will believe that hope is lost, that hatred has won, that their neighbor has somehow become the enemy.
The only answer I have to this is Love.
The greatest antidote to fear that I have ever known was Love.
The most effective balm to wounds of division; the calming voice in the midst of unrest; the call of hope in desperation: Love.
And regardless of if you believe that Jesus would have you vote red or blue or some blend of purple; regardless of if you vote a party line, or are a single issue voter, or fall victim to the idea that your vote doesn’t matter at all. . . the truth remains that Jesus has called us to love.
Our neighbor. Our enemy. Those in need. Those who hate us.
And to be clear – Love as an action. Not a feeling. Not “thoughts and prayers.” Love in the form of behaviors. A meal to the family next door with a new baby, and a sign for the political opposition in their yard. Stopping to check on the guy broken down on the side of the road with the political bumper sticker that says something hurtful about your candidate.
I don’t want to go into political specifics, nor am I excusing the behavior of extremists, nor am I pretending this will be easy. But easy has never gotten us anywhere.
Love brings change, primarily because it changes us first.
Find your hope in God. Rest in the knowledge that He’s got this. He’s got you. He’s got us.
And then continue to reach out, to love across political affiliations, to find common ground, to serve and give to those in need as God has called you to do.
Love. Love. Love.
Love Extravagantly, beyond all reason, beyond your perceived limits.
The love you spread will soothe the wounds of those around you, as well as your own. It will conquer the fear, the division, and the unrest.
Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly.
-1 Corinthians 13:13 – The Message