The fear-based, hate-filled rhetoric that is currently flooding our airwaves and newsfeeds is mind-boggling. Regardless of which side of the political coin you examine, they both utilize methods that tap into the worst of us. Fear, hatred, manipulation and creating a sense of chaotic mistrust seem to rule the day.
Worse than that, much of the fear-based, hate-filled rhetoric is being championed by many within the Christian community. Again, regardless of which side of the political coin you examine.
I struggle to come to terms with that…a faith based on the two great commandments of loving God and loving neighbor has too easily embraced a platform motivated by fear, hatred and the pursuit of power.
To be honest, in response, I find myself struggling to come to terms with my own anger, hatred and rage. I have to shut down the airwaves and newsfeeds because I begin to boil over. Those who know me best can see my “fire eyes” and recognize that whatever comes next will not be helpful or loving.
There are faithful Christians on each side of the political spectrum. However, each side accuses the other of compromising their faith in order to support their candidate. And, let’s be honest, it’s true. Those supporting either political party have to make some concessions in order to sleep at night. Don’t even get me started on how troubling it is that there are only two political parties that have the platform.
I encourage followers of Jesus to read the Sermon on the Mount and spend some time in prayer before heading to the polls or filling in their mail-in ballot. After that, if you can reconcile voting for your preferred candidate, go for it. If not, remember it’s okay to not vote for either candidate. You can still cast your votes for local and state candidates. But, if at the end of the day you find yourself saying, “Well, it’s the lesser of two evils”, think about what that means. The “lesser of two evils” is still evil.
So, in order to remain in a relatively healthy mental and spiritual state, I have to shut it down. That often means going for walks and listening to skateboarding podcasts!
On this mornings walk, I made my way through an overgrown, weed-filled trail near our neighborhood. The sun was beginning to peak through the clouds. And, I found myself taking in the beauty of my surroundings. Even within the weeds, there are flowers and signs of beauty.
I was reminded of the old Five Iron Frenzy song, “Dandelions”. The lyrics remind us that God sees flowers in the weeds.
Lord search my heart
Create in me something clean
Dandelions…You see flowers in these weeds
It seems like our world is being overcome by “weeds”. I wonder what it would be like if we began to see flowers instead of weeds? I wonder what would happen if we began to turn off the angry, fear-filled, hateful noise and focused on the signs of beauty and hope that surround us? I wonder what would happen if we began to choose love over hatred, anger or fear?