Post-Election Hangover: From Mom's Morning Chair
This wasn't intended as a blog post, but rather an email to my children - a senior in college and a third-year law student - two days after the election. They are living in environments noisy with explanations about what happened Tuesday. Mom decided to add her voice.
This is a ‘foolish confounding the wise’ story. I find myself not thanking God for Donald J. Trump, necessarily, but thanking God for regular folks - Granddad, Miss Bonnie, and the man who just came to fix our furnace- folks who deep in their souls and guts trust they can self-govern and self-sustain. Who somehow know that they were made to be free beings. This is Imago Dei stuff. It was for freedom we were set free. It’s written into the heart of man. It’s why so many people from oppressed places want to come to our country.
Maybe I see this because I grew up in a small town, where we didn’t have the luxury or curse, depending on your viewpoint, of associating with only our own kind. That’s easier done in the city. There’s an interdependence in a small town that transcends social, economic, and even racial barriers.
These voters - these citizens that academia is mocking in your face today - are people that work with their hands, live close to the earth, trust their gut instincts and their God because they don’t have degree upon degree. They produce stuff we can touch and eat and drive. They know intrinsically a course must be righted.
Yes, some of them are scared too. Aren’t we all, to some degree? We are also deeply flawed as both our candidates were.
That’s not the point.
Like the reformers who turned the church upside down - among their ideas was ‘priesthood of believers’ . This unrest is like the reformation. It began as protest. Ended in a new movement. And the kingdom of God was better off for it.
…so don’t be surprised Institutional Church - when they come after you next!
…don’t be surprised Evangelical and Catholic power players alike when they want to strip you of yours too.
…don’t be surprised when the gut-instinct, soul-set-free folks look to the Spirit of Christ as their only authority.
We are living in a paradigm shift. The church is due, in fact, already experiencing, a 500 year readjustment (read Phyllis Tickle’s The Great Emergence and The Age of the Spirit for more on this). None of us can be absolutely certain of where it will all land and stabilize for the next 400 years or so - until it starts to happen again when we need another correction. And we will.
It shouldn’t surprise us that all our other institutions are being protested, reformed, and redefined.
The election, the model-defying, paradigm-shifting thing we witnessed - love it or hate it or somewhere in between - is part of a larger seismic shift that we happen to be living in the midst of.
For those young collegians who said this is ‘their 9/11” - God forgive them for the pain that inflicts on the families of innocent people slaughtered that day.
And thanks be to God for a country that can still pass the reigns of power peacefully after an election.
Now, let’s all go do the next right thing and love our neighbors as ourselves.