After the Election-- Two Friends…
By Shane Stanford
In the last 10 hours, two friends called me. One was ecstatic. The other very worried. One friend supported Barrack Obama. The other supported John McCain.
My Obama friend talked of a new hope and brighter days. My McCain friend spoke of difficult times ahead and fears about tomorrow.
My Obama friend said that Obama would change everything. My McCain friend said the same thing, but for different reasons.
My Obama friend gushed at Obama’s victory as though the stars seemed more in line. My McCain friend recoiled at Obama’s victory as though the heavens had fallen.
My Obama friend considers Obama a magnetic personality, poised to the change the world. My McCain friend sees Obama as a polarizing personality… poised to change the world.
I simply listened to both of them and thought about the morning…
For you see, this morning… the world still suffers from the broken edges of our humanity. 8,000 people will die today from AIDS. 14,000 children will die from conditions that we could have prevented. Young men and women on various sides will die as a result of various conflicts around the world.
This morning… the complexities of our world still transcend the efforts of one man, one party or, even, one nation. People will do unspeakable things because they say they love their country or their God.
This morning… families from all backgrounds will struggle, marriages will fail, and parents will worry about their children. The most local of our circumstances and problems will still seem overwhelming and hopeless for so many, no matter what the political landscape looks like.
This morning… the poor are still poor; our prisons are still full; our schools are still in need. People still judge too many of our brothers and sisters because of the color of their skin. People still awaken to lonely homes and even lonelier lives. And, people still believe that one more dollar, or one more purchase, or one more title, will make the ache go away.
This morning… our brothers and sisters in the faith still fight over the least of what we can agree upon. And, people continue to believe that our answers exists somewhere among our own abilities, gifts and graces—a lie told, and believed, from the Garden until now.
And, so, this morning… we need not create another Satan. That job remains taken.
But, on this morning… we need not create another Messiah either. That position is also filled.
And because of that, this morning… the solutions to our problems remain vested in our ability to look past our differences and trust the best of what we can agree upon.
This morning… the Table remains, as it has for 2,000 years and through countless elections, as the real center of hope for both how God sees us and for how God intends for us to see each other. While the world casts its hope in the extraordinary—buildings made of marble and granite; God delights and offers real hope in the ordinary--- bread, juice, and places made of straw and hills made of jagged rock.
This morning… the message of the Good News remains for those who have and have not, for those who vote left or right or not at all, and for those who consider faith a burden or a crutch.
This morning…. the family of God remains bigger than boundaries and nationalities and ideologies. And, we still pray that men and women of all ages, nations and races, will make good decisions for the good of the world for the right reasons. Because, our hope remains in something more sacred than even an election, a president, a congress or the concept of democracy.
This morning… our God still reigns, still loves unconditionally, still offers forgiveness, still calls us to do good and seek justice, still encourages us to live faithfully, still insists that we make peace, still favors the poor whether of material or spirit, still comforts those who mourn, still draws close to those who hunger and thirst for Him, still believes in the communion of the saints, and still prepares a place for when the journey is over.
Yes, this morning… much is different, but little has changed.
And, so, for my two friends… and for all of us… the real question on this morning… or any morning… is what shall we do with THIS DAY… that the LORD HAS MADE---I say let us rejoice and be glad in it---
Be salt and light… you matter.