Love Thy Neighbor... Please
I will preface this post with the admission that I voted for neither Donald Trump or Hilary Clinton. I am not a democrat or a republican. There are, quite honestly, things I love and abhor about about both parties. However, this post isn't about that. It is about our country and her people.
The United States of America truly is a melting pot. We are an awesome blend of colors, thoughts, and ideals. No two of us really are the same. If this were so, what a mundane existence it would be. We come from different races, ethnicities, religions, and backgrounds. Some of us are first generation immigrants. Some (like me) have family from many countries. Some have ancestors who came over on the Mayflower. Some of us can trace their ancestry to Native Americans who were here before all of us.
Our majestic country offers the freedoms many others can't or won't afford. We are allowed to proclaim the name of Jesus or deny him all the same. We are free to love and marry whomever we chose no matter our sex, race, or religion. We are free to bear arms or oppose them. We are free to praise or openly reject those elected into office. We may not get our way. But we are sure free to let our distain be known. We are free to stomp on our nation's flag. We are free to protest those things we do not agree with without the threat of imprisonment or death. We are free to love...and hate our neighbors. We may not always appreciate these freedoms, but they are ours' whether we enjoy them or not.
Today I was looking into my (soon to be) son's beautiful blue eyes and felt the strangest mix of emotions. You see, mine is the fourth house he has lived in. He has known the torment and anguish that comes with sudden loss. He has been gripped with the fear of the unknown. He has had to adapt to new surroundings and new beginnings. He has had to learn a new way of life. He has had to leave behind those he has come to love dearly. He has had to put his trust in perfect strangers with zero say in any of the circumstances surrounding him. His life has been turned upside down over, and over, and over.
He is three...
Lincoln has been with me for nearly a year and I am ashamed to admit that this little guy is teaching me more about myself than I'm probably teaching him.
This election year has brought with it righteous indignation, raw anger, heartbreak, and fear. And that is just in my heart. I have lost count of the number of arguments I've been in with total strangers about why I knew my beliefs were right and there's...well...weren't. I wouldn't normally go up to a total stranger and exclaim their beliefs as nonsense (not that I did this per say). However, on social media I see strangers fight tooth and nail over who's party is better or worse. I see friend fight friend and family fight family. Hands raised if you're so beyond over it.
Getting on Facebook or Twitter should not raise one's blood pressure. If this is happening perhaps go for a walk, read a good book, hug your kids, pray. Because it just isn't worth it. We are all Americans. We are all neighbors, friends, and family. I don't know one person who hasn't been touched by 9/11 or the wars on terror. We are fighting on so many fronts. Do we really need to fight in our own backyard as well?
No matter who you voted for we really can live through the next four years with our sanity, dignity, and integrity intact. It might not be fun. It will be scary. It might take some intersection and/ or prayer. We may have to adapt a bit. We might even have to trust some who haven't yet earned it.
If my three year old can do it...