While Donald Trump was named the GOP nominee, and while Melania Trump cribbed Michelle Obama’s words; while Trump and Trump strode out onto the stage with Queen’s “We Are the Champions of the World” blasting, some people cheered and some people cried, some people began building refugee boats, some began building a business, some gnashed their teeth and others rubbed their hands in glee.
The same happened when Hilary Clinton won the Democratic nomination.
What did I do? I went for a walk around my island with my camera after dinner, as I often do.
My racing heart calmed, and I come to you now to tell you this one beautiful truth:
No matter which candidate sits in the oval office, no matter how bitterly we shudder now at that thought, listen:
Beauty will not disappear.
Love will not disappear.
Hope will not disappear.
Faith will not disappear.
How do I know? Because we will not let it. In fact, if history is our guide, the Church may be in for growth and strengthening.
God didn't wait for the world to clean up before entering as an infant. He didn't wait for leaders to become decent, humane, pro-life. He was born, it seems, in the worst of times, in a country with a ruler who killed thousands of babies in the off-chance that one might be a threat. And though, when grown, everywhere Jesus went, more and more men determined to kill this bringer-of-life, He never stopped loving, never stopped healing, never stopped bringing the kingdom of God to all those around him, lovers and haters both.
It happened again and again: He heals a man’s hand on the Sabbath. The man leaps out of his presence healed, forgiven, freed, fully alive-----and in that same moment, scowling leaders begin plotting his death.
This is the world we still live in, where people do whatever-it-takes to protect their personal power, their political power, their religious (or irreligious) power.
What will we do, then, about this same old sorry world? Shall we be poisoned by fear? Shall we plan our escape? Shall we descend into corrosion and cynicism? Shall we, like Pharisees, plot the end of our "enemies"? Tempting, isn’t it?
If you are anxious about both candidates, as I am, if you are despairing about both candidates, as I am----make a vow, as I am. Vow that you will be who you say you are: vow to believe the words you maybe once learned by heart:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. . . . Love never fails.
Do you see? If we have family and friends, if we live in a neighborhood, a community, if we belong to a church, in other words, if we have a beating heart and people around us---let's get busy. We have lots of work to do.
No matter who’s in office----a madman, a tyrant, an idiot, a criminal, an opportunist, a narcissist, a conniver, a reprobate----history is littered with such leaders, but never did it stop people of faith from courageously offering Love and Mercy and Beauty and Faith to those who wanted it least and to those who hungered for it most.
We pledge our first allegiance to God, not to a nation removing itself from God. The worse the leader, the greater our opportunity. The worse the leader, the more we pray for that leader.
The kingdom of God has never relied on votes for its power. We have all the power we already need.
Let's get on with it then, shall we?
Love never fails.