Take a deep breath.
That was mostly for me, but you probably need one, too, so go for it.
If you’ve had a single conversation about the election with me over the past year or so, most of this will sound pretty familiar. I’ve been hesitant to post anything publicly out of fear, fear of being misconstrued or misunderstood, or getting in another pointless Facebook comment argument that goes nowhere. But sometimes I just need to tell fear to shut up. So here we are.
The truth is, I’m really tired. I’m tired of strangers I’ve never met harassing me on twitter every time I retweet a news story, or God forbid, express my own opinion. I’m tired of the fear and the anger and the anxiety about the future. I’m tired of the racism dressed up as policy, and sexism masquerading as journalism. I’m tired of seeing people I love spreading information that is at best ignorant, and at worst dangerous.
But I don’t need to tell you that. Because the odds are, you’re tired too.
Somewhere in the combination of my gender, my faith, and my college major, I became pretty political. Politics isn’t just this thing that happens around us; it’s deeply personal. It affects real people, people I know and love, and even those I will never meet. Therefore, I don’t have the luxury to sit this one out.
To summarize a conversation I had with my Mom this summer (Hi, Mom, I love you, you’re the best, go vote!): I am not so naive to believe that there is one candidate, or political party, or policy, or system that can save us. In fact, as a Christian, I believe that nothing can save us and bring the healing and restoration we need apart from Jesus. HOWEVER, I do believe that there are systems and candidates and policies that will stop hurting us so much. And that matters. That is worth fighting for. At the very least, that is worth voting for.
As a very political person, I have strong feelings about who I hope will win tonight (#ImWithHer). The past two days I’ve been a ball of anxiety unable to sleep or focus on anything else. We don’t know what world we will wake up in tomorrow. But the truth is, no matter who is elected, our work will not be over.
No matter who is elected, November 9th will come, and we will still have work to do. If my candidate wins, the work is not finished, but just beginning. And if the other candidate wins, the work is not derailed or defeated, but will continue as well. Because whoever wins, the reality is that people are angry and scared. Something needs to be done. Schools need funding, and criminal justice systems need to be reformed, and institutional racial biases need to be addressed.
Christians talk a lot about calling and mission, this idea that our lives have purpose and meaning given to us by God.
For me, calling often comes down to this passage in 2 Corinthians 5:16-19:
So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
Today, go vote. Please.
Tomorrow, I’m going to wake up and continue in this ministry of reconciliation. I’m going to pursue justice, and love my neighbors, and pray for healing and restoration for this broken world.
Will you join me?