It has been a long few weeks, especially the last few, and I have to say, all that has transpired between the dawn of Covid and the election, it has left me with a heavy, heavy heart.
The division I see, feel, and hear between people — people who were once what appeared to be friends — makes me sad.
Social media can be great. I use it to keep in touch with friends and family; especially those living at a distance from me. In addition to bringing people together, I have realized it can create a sense of anonymity.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the like have almost become a mask, or shield, people stand behind while they blast hurtful words at each other. Words I venture most likely would not be spoken if the same two people were standing next to each other in a room, crowded or alone. People don’t tend to be so brazen, or ugly, up close.
I’ve read as people have called Trump supporters stupid, uneducated, rednecks. I’ve witnessed similar use of harsh language towards the Biden camp, such as calling them socialist, blind, and baby killers.
I understand having strong feelings about your candidate — often today your political affiliation illustrates the picture you have of the way you live your life, what you believe to be right or true in your core. But these are not fundamental truths. They’re just not.
As a professed Christian, you can imagine I have many, many friends who are on the right — some on the far right. They believe Trump, or at least the republican party, represents the values they hold dear. And I have no problem with that.
I think you should hold deep convictions and in an election you should align yourself with the candidate(s) who best represent your beliefs — after all, they will be creating laws and voting on issues that should be best representing the people who put them in office.
All I ask is that you allow me the same courtesy. Even if my vote was cast differently from yours. Even if I am in the minority.
Which I am.
I am a devout Christian. I love Jesus. I love everything about Him. I love His life story, His mission, His grace. I believe He came, taught, healed, and ultimately died for me. I believe He took the sins of the world upon Him on that cross and wiped them clean so that I would one day be born and be able to turn to Him for comfort, direction, and love.
And I voted for Biden.
I have been incredibly nervous to share that bit of information. I am not usually someone who fears confrontation. And when I was younger, I think I thrived on it a little bit. But today, as a Christ follower, I seek peace more than I seek the fight.
Because as a Christian who voted democratic in this election, I have seen that I not only have to defend my political views, but I may be asked to defend my religious beliefs as well.
It’s a lot to carry, especially when I believe I don’t owe anyone an explanation. God knows my heart, and in the end, I would hope my close friends and family do as well.
Moving forward, I will continue to live the best way I know how — making room for everyone at the table — for those that look different, sound different, even those that believe differently than I do. I don’t want to live in a vacuum. I tried that once — it didn’t work out so well.
I believe regardless of the way people vote, we all basically want the same things. We want to be heard, we want to be understood, and we want to be loved.
No matter what side you stand on, I am a safe place. I may not see things exactly as you do, but I am willing to listen, to have meaningful discussions, and share our thoughts and feelings back and forth in hopes of understanding each other better.
I will not lump you in to a category and write you off simply because you voted for a different party or candidate than I did. And I will think the best of you unless you give me reason to pause and think otherwise —
I have tried to simplify my life lately — keep important things at the forefront — all the other “stuff” doesn’t mean much in the greater scheme of things because while Christ was here, he gave two basic but powerful commands — and as a Christian I am trying to keep my focus on those words. Christ instructed us to love God, and to love others.
…and the greatest of these is love (1 Corinthians 13:13 NLT)