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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Morning After

I woke my daughters differently this morning.

It's usually a palm laid flat on each back, one at a time, and the words, "My little lamb, it's time to get up." And they each complain and ask for more minutes, which they usually get.

This morning, it started the same. The hand, warmth through the blankets. The smell of children sleeping. The gentle stirring, but instead of asking for more minutes, the littlest said, with eyes still closed, "Who won?"

And I told her.

She responded, "Mommy, I don't want to get up. I don't want to go outside ever again."

I know she didn't really mean it, not "ever again," but I also know her heart was honest.

Last spring, a little boy in her class was crying at school. He has brown skin. Black eyes. Black hair. He's small. Another child told him that after the election, he wouldn't be allowed to live here any more. It broke my daughter's heart. I hoped then I was assuring her honestly that it wouldn't be that way. I hope today that's true.

But I know that's still in her memory, and it's likely why she doesn't want to go outside ever again.

But I told her, "We have to, baby. We have to get up. We have to go out. We have to go be the church. We have to love people more than we ever have before. Everybody's hurting. Everybody's afraid. We need to love harder." And she got up. And she went to school. They all did. Life goes on, and our opportunities to be light in it are a little different than they were. We still have a reason to be here.

People with whom I have for decades shared similar ideas and often similar actions held very different views this election season. Discussion didn't bridge the divide for us. "I don't get how you can see this differently than I do" was stated repeatedly. I felt the same way in return.

Many whom I love felt very strongly that one person was their only hope to protect their legal right to hold and express their faith views. That drove their votes.

While I didn't support their candidate or the primary opposition, I feared that supporting the person in whom they put their hope would do far more to damage my faith witness, regardless of its legal status. It isn't so much my legal right to hold my faith that concerns me. It's the actual advancement of the gospel--the good news that there is a God and he loves people and he forgives and reaches into lives and gets people by the heart and never, ever lets them go for all eternity--that I am more concerned about. So even if the law stays favorable, how we get it and how we keep it does matter, because it's on the street with my neighbors and friends, coworkers, shoppers, drivers, parents, coaches, clients--that's where associations are made and connections to the Jesus I know should be realized. Not with a public persona who looks nothing like him.

So we got up this morning. Heavy hearted, but accepting. There's sadness because there's fear and there's hurt among our communities. There's determination, because truth and love are not things anyone can legislate--in or out. And law doesn't lessen obligation or opportunity.

So we got up. And we went out, because we love you. We loved you yesterday and we love you today, and we will love you. We love because HE first loved us. That won't change.


Carolynn Markey said...

hmm, interesting. I've been reading a lot about what are people doing to help support our brothers and sisters who are hurting...here is what you are doing...raising the next generation to spread love and acceptance and not hate. Do this, and trust in God, and maybe we can change things.

--Rebecca said...

I really believe, Carolynn, that God works in grassroots, face-to-face, hands-dirty, walking together relationships far more than he works in the passing of laws and policies and programs. It confounds the wise and powerful that he does this, but it points to the instrumentality of each and every believer. Every single one of us can love someone who is hurting, alone, needy, frightened.
What that looks like can be vastly different from situation to situation. We are being prepared to befriend, to make eye contact, to engage in conversation, to ask how someone else is processing. That's all the most basic level. But we are also preparing ourselves, if necessary, to step in between if someone is being insulted or assaulted. To voice opposition to spoken or acted out aggression. We will, to the best of our abilities and with God's power in us, put our arms around the shoulders of those in our circles who are being unjustly oppressed, diminished, harmed. Beyond that, I'm not sure, but this is our childlike starting point.

So good to hear from you. It's been a long time! Thank you for continuing to read! <3

Meli G said...

Does your daughter know that Hillary promotes the killing of unborn children? I know Trump isn't perfect. He is the lesser of two evils. I think God will work things out for our nation, despite the divisions we are experiencing, God is bigger than all of this. This is time for acknowledgement of sin, repentance and restoration. Get it while you can!

--Rebecca said...

Melissa, I think you misunderstood the point of this entry.
This is about how we respond and love our neighbors in the aftermath of the actual circumstances.

Betty Simpson said...

Melissa, I got online to try to find book 4 in your Armor of God series for my first grade class. They love hearing your stories during our study of fairy tales and this class is particularly disappointed that we don't have book 4: Take Cover!

I happened upon this post from the day after the election. Thank you so much for your thoughtful words. They are just as important now as the day you posted.

If you know of a way I can get book 4 for less than $122. 29 on Amazon!, please let me know.

Betty Simpson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
--Rebecca said...

Hi, Betty,
Thank you so much for stopping by and for writing. Your note is a great encouragement to me!
The individual books are out of print, I'm afraid, but all six have been combined into one volume, which you may be familiar with. Amazon should have it, as should Christian Book Distributors. It's called Kevin Tries on the Spiritual Armor, and there's a link to it at the top of the home page of this blog.

However, if I can find another copy of the individual book for you, I would be happy to forward it on to you at the very minimum cost I can manage. I'm often on the lookout for a few strays that turn up after the original owners are finished with them, and sometimes I find them here or there.
Would you be willing to send me a private email with your contact information?
If so, you can contact me at rjcandwkc@gmail.com

Thank you so much! Blessings on your day!
--Rebecca Cochrane