I don't know how this election cycle felt to you.
To me it felt like a tornado of fear.
I think that feeling of fear was created deliberately, as an attempt to push voters toward one candidate or the other.
I think that whatever the election results, whichever candidate won, we would probably be reeling in much the same way as we are right now.
We'd still be cleaning up the mess the tornado made.
Whoever won, someone would be walled out.
Because that's how this election was run: against The Other.
We were told during the campaign never, ever, under any circumstances, to trust The Others.
If you voted for this person or that person, you're not smart.
I'm smart. You're not. You're Other.
Whoever you voted for last week, no matter the intention of your heart as you voted, today you're not a caring, loving person.
I'm loving, I'm caring. You're not. You're Other.
You hate babies and you don't believe the Word of God.
Or you hate people of color and the LGBT community.
Worst of all, if you voted for The Others, you hate me.
And I can prove it by your vote.
Honestly, my heart is broken.
I have cried until my eyes can hardly open.
And it's not over the candidate who won or lost.
It's because of the othering.
I know people who voted for Trump out of love and care for their families and friends.
I know people who voted for Clinton out of love and care for their families and friends.
I know people who voted third party or wrote in a candidate out of love and care for their families and friends.
I know people who didn't vote at all out of love and care for their families and friends.
Here is the truth: there are no Others.
There is only us.
We all belong to each other, and as we other, we tear ourselves apart.
I think the only way out of the othering is Love.
Loving The Others.
Love is the answer. I deeply believe that.
This probably comes as no surprise to anyone who reads here regularly: Love, Love, Love, blah, blah, blah.
In the wake of the election results, I've had to ask myself this quesion: why continue pursuing Love?
Is Love trustworthy? Does it work? Is it what I should invest in right now?
I came across this Ted-Ed animation last night that helped. It's called "How do you know who to trust?" (And isn't that a question we all wanted to have answered during the election!)
The nugget is this: you trust a track record over time.
People can say anything they want about what's right and what works and how they've got all the answers, and they're the people you should follow and believe.
There are scripture verses and proof texts all around.
The only way you'll know for sure who to trust?
Their track record over time.
It applies to ourselves, too.
What's my track record over time? What's proven to be true and trustworthy in my own life?
So I was thinking about Love, and its track record in my life.
And all I can see from Love is goodness and mercy in my life, and in the lives of others.
I see how Love has transformed my inner self from anxiety about wrath and judgment to peace and contentment.
I see how Love has transformed how I see others, from objects of wrath and judgment and othering to gifts of blessing.
I see how Love has transformed my marriage, from a place of perfectionism and performance, to a haven of safety and joy.
I see how Love gives me strength to be kind and gentle even when I'm othered and rejected.
I see how Love motivates others to stand for the vulnerable, to help the hurting.
Jesus said it: "Love the Lord your God. Love your neighbor as yourself. Do this and you'll live." Luke 10:27
And that's how Love feels to me. It feels like Life. Abundant, full and free.
And so I trust the words of Jesus, and the track record of Love in my life.
I'm sticking with Love.
While we dig out from the tornado, while we march down the walls of otherness.
I'm sticking with Love.