Faith and Politics
I am not sure when I started caring about politics, maybe it's been more of a quest these last years to determine if politics care about me. Although my skin is not tough enough to debate political science, I still can’t seem to keep my hands or head out of it.
Last Christmas I walked around Old Philadelphia in the pouring rain and toured Independence Hall with my family. When I am within the walls of places that sheltered the first revolutionaries, who fought for freedom, I feel a kind of buzz. But, what would those who pioneered our country say if they walked out of their graves, sat down in their pubs again and pondered all that’s happened since the 1700’s? They would see an America that is polarized and coming off the rails.
If I could only drag my heart out of the dump, but my spirit is wrung dry and I continue to wrestle with faith and policies. Even if you are weary of hearing election-type jargon, bear with me, I am just as tired as you are and come not to persuade, but with empathy. I find it difficult to wedge myself into democracy, taking one side or the other, when I am a champion for unity, because the bottom line is: I want to remain engaged in the democratic process, while still lifting Jesus higher. This is the tension that I keep trying to unravel by having conversations, reading(the gospels
mostly), crying some, and even at times losing sleep.
I offer you the humble ramblings of a weary heart:
1.No singular candidate will save us and fix all our problems.
2.Voting is important and we should, but it is not the MOST important thing I can do for my country.
3.The more I look into the gospels, the more Jesus grabs my attention away from the heated debates and into the eyes of the least.
4. The brunt of work for change happens primarily in relationships. Cherish them, make them better, mend fences. No excuses.
5.We can look to our leaders for guidance, but they are not gods. They are imperfect humans just like us. So let’s stop pointing fingers and do more self-examination while we pray for them aggressively.
6.Sides don’t steer ships, it’s all hands on deck. The pulse of life is community and coming together at a table where even enemies are welcome. These are principles that can ground us and give purpose when confusion clouds our vision.
I am not minimizing the power of being present in politics, but I am suggesting that our actions might have more meaning in the margins than in Washington. I am still sitting at the table, trying to listen, and do what I can. But ultimately, it takes more than government for change to happen and cultivating it really starts right inside of us. I have no right to make presumptions about a person based on how they vote no more than a person would have that right to do the same for me, because the message of grace doesn’t fit in a box and neither do people. The work that God wants us to do is far more profound than our own schemes, so what if we took the spotlight off of the theatrics, let the curtain fall, and go back home, where the hardest work is done.