It is a dreary day in Buck's County and for many of us the weather is a perfect match for the state of our country and future. Many well-intentioned people of faith are saying we should not worry because it is in God's hands. I believe my eternal soul and the telos of history is firmly in the gracious hands of God. But this country is in our hands and we will live into the consequences of what happened yesterday.
The deep malaise in this country would not have been alleviated if Secretary Clinton would have been elected and frankly I tried not to think about what the next four years of angry gridlock would have looked like. But anger won instead and I am not sure how that translates into governing. What happens when reality sets in and it becomes apparent that all the wild promises cannot be fulfilled? What happens during the first international crisis? These are concrete reasons for real apprehension and fear and not only for the many vulnerable folks in our country, but all of us.
The majority of men (and still only men) who have served as president are largely forgettable. Even the greatest failures (Grant, Harding and Nixon) recede from our memories, though one can argue that we are still experiencing the consequences of their failures. I do believe that a little less than half of the electorate just voted in the most unfit candidate for president since Warren G. Harding and the most dangerous one since Richard Nixon. Some asked me can 50+million people be wrong? History says with a resounding shout -yes!
I think now is a time to regroup and recommit ourselves to be agents of light, truth, courage and transformation. These are the kinds of times when the truly great spirits of history are formed. I do believe that we are "strangers and aliens" and the "better country" I seek is not of this world (Hebrews 11:13-16). But it is precisely the ones who can transcend the prejudices and despair of their times, who are most capable of speaking and living a prophetic word of justice and hope.
Luther was once asked what he would do if he knew the world was ending tomorrow. He replied that he would plant a tree. I do not feel much like gardening today; but for the sake of my children, grandchildren, my family of faith, and for all the children of the world, I am getting out my shovel and gloves tomorrow. We may need to tear down before we plant, but let all people of good will and faith recommit ourselves to sowing seeds of hope, love, and justice. Let us look to the Lord of the Harvest for strength with compassion and courage in love.