This morning, much of the nation is waking up bleary-eyed and still in a state of shock.  “What. Just. Happened?  How?  Why?  What??”

I know my mind is reeling.  It has been all night.

The nation has spoken, and the verdict begs the question, “Where do we even go from here?”

Church, I believe the answer starts with us.  A few thoughts to consider on this morning-after:

1. It’s okay to have feelings.

It is no secret that this election cycle was bizarre on so many levels.  Hillary muddled through her fair share of controversy.  And Trump?  By this point, we’re all quite aware of Trump’s propensity to offend.  And offend.  And offend.

I remember a conversation with a dear friend months ago- a friend who happens to represent one of the minority groups that has been on the receiving end of far too many mean-spirited remarks from our now president-to-be.  “It’s scary, Catherine,” she said, speaking to the prospect of a Trump presidency.  “I’m so scared, and my family is scared.  I just can’t believe that he might actually be our next president.”

It was in that moment that I was struck by my privilege.  Sure, I can disagree with policy and disapprove of a person’s character.  But I’m a white, able-bodied, American-born woman; Trump has never once made threats against me.  And yet, others are not afforded that privilege.  They’re waking up this morning feeling deeply hurt.  They’re terrified, sad, and angry.  They feel threatened.

This is not some emotionally-charged jargon.  This is truth.  This is reality for many.  I know this because I’ve heard these words from the mouths of real people.

So, what?  What do we do about it?  Well, we need to be mindful of how our friends and neighbors are doing.  How they’re processing all of this.

Check on your people.  Approach them with the blessed hope that our God is still sovereign- that He is still on His throne- but, first, before you get to that, hear them out.  Listen to their stories and their misgivings and their fears.  Be okay with people not being okay today.

2. Let’s discipline our tongues and watch our speech.

So, it’s okay to have feelings.  And it’s okay to vehemently disagree with a particular leader.  But, at the end of the day, Donald Trump is our president-elect.  A person.  Made in the image of our almighty God.  And, as Christ-followers, we’re called to respect and honor our leaders.

One lesson (of so. many. lessons.) this election drove home was the importance of learning to disagree civilly.  We certainly didn’t see this modeled from the debate podiums, nor did my Facebook feed display any semblance of disciplined-speech.  But is that the final word and example we want to leave for our children? That “free speech” equals freedom to hate?  That real leaders yell and bicker and name-call until they can eke out a victory?

Friends, let us not respond to bullying with bullying.  Hate with hate.  This is not a call to some passive doormat existence.  Rather, this is a call to the existence of one whose identity is deeply rooted in the unchangeable character of a loving Savior.

When we consider the unfathomable grace and mercy God has heaped upon us, we can be freed up to heed Michelle Obama’s eloquent words: “When they go low, we go high.”

Let’s hold tight to our convictions.  Let’s defend the defenseless.  And, my goodness, let’s speak up.  But let’s go high and let’s do so with an undercurrent of respect and honor.  Let’s do this thing civilly.

3. Feelings are good, and so are words.  But, church, let’s get a move on and DO something.

Yesterday, our nation elected a president that has built his following on a promise to build a wall.  Who has called Latino immigrants “criminals” and “rapists.”  Who said he’d “absolutely” implement a registry for Muslims in our country.  Who openly mocked a disabled journalist.  Who has made horrific comments about women which he quickly dismissed as “locker room talk.” Whose rhetoric and plans are wildly supported by the Ku Klux Klan.

The people have truly spoken.  The state of the union is clear.  Our nation is broken.

So, as Christians, what do we do?

We run to the brokenness.

We run to our Latino and Muslim neighbors, we run to local communities of immigrants and refugees, we run to our African American colleagues and friends.  We run to them and cry, “We see you.  WE SEE YOU!  And we’ve got your backs.  Even if the government betrays you and others mock you, we will be your people.”

And, then?  Then, we follow through and actually BECOME their people.

We dive into organizations like World Relief and start serving and loving local refugees as they get settled and back on their feet.

We do more than just pay lip service to the whole notion of being pro-life.  We support lives in the womb, absolutely.  But we also support lives post-birth.  We walk alongside the mom experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and become her biggest advocate and loudest cheerleader.  We foster.  We get background checked so that we can babysit for foster parents.

We help our friends search for employment when their husbands- and the primary breadwinners of the family- are deported without warning.

We walk with women who have been the victims of sexual assault and abuse, helping them find safety and healing.

We stand alongside our black brothers and sisters and affirm again and again that black lives do indeed matter.

We show kindness.  We speak truth in love.  We exemplify mercy and grace.

We point back to Jesus with our words AND our actions.

4. Let’s hold tight to the hope that God IS still sovereign.

Emotions are understandably high.  We can be disappointed and we can be shocked and we can feel all of the feelings, but let’s not land there.  Let’s land on truth.

Let’s land on the truth that God sent Jesus to die for all of us.  For our sin.  For our brokenness.  Because our sin is just as heinous as that of Clinton and Trump, we are equally in need of a Savior.

Let’s land on the hope that Jesus didn’t stay dead.  That he broke the curse of sin and defeated death itself.  There is no ruler that will ever match that kind of power and authority.  Jesus has already won.  He is still in control.  And his love has never, not ever, faltered.

Church, what if God has handed us over to this kind of election- this brand of president- for such a time as this?

What if NOW is our time to show the world that we are people who show up?

That we are people who run to the margins.

That we are people whose speech is grace-filled.

That we are people who honor and pray for our leaders even when we disagree.

That we are people who can forgive.

That we are gospel-people.  People who know that God’s love for us is secure.  People who are convinced that there’s nothing we can do to make Him love us more, and there’s nothing we can do to make Him love us less.  People who are so radically changed by this truth that they can’t help but give this kind of love away to others.

The people have spoken.  This is our reality.  So, let’s get to it.

16 Comments on Trump won. Now what do we do, Church?

  1. I will say that your message is very good and that people should express how they feel. People should reflect on who we are as a people and as a nation. When I was born Eisenhower was president and the cold war was happening . . . to a little kid that means nothing except that we were told that if a bomb went off we were to go hide in the hallway, crouch down, hide our heads in our hands and we knew that mom had water bottles in the closet. My parents were in the military and both in WWll and knew 1st hand of the war and of the bombs. There was JFKennedy who seemed to be well liked and UGH Nov. 22, 1963 he was assassinated . . . There was much unrest in the late 19sixties, kind of scary times. President Johnson took over then Nixon was in during the Viet Nam era. I was glad when that war ended and that I never had to go because I did not understand those times. My dad used to go to WWII reunions every year (we all went) and we would hang out w Dad’s Army buddies. I said Dad, I never hear you guys talk about the war. He said no, we would rather not, we want to talk about today and the future. When we were in the war we looked forward to getting back home (if we survived) and playing ball, being w friends and family. I get that! At 18 I would want the same for sure and thankfully I was spared from that. I experienced the era of Nixon resigning as president which when you look back at that and compare the alleged Hillary corruption thing to the nixon thing then you wonder how Hillary was even allowed to run for president. So for those that you that liked Hillary you do have to realize that she carried some baggage as well. Gerald Ford was president and never even got elected . . . he filled in for VP after Spiro Agnew resigned. When Nixon resigned he automatically became #38. James Earl Carter #39 was kind of an outsider, Ronald Wilson Reagan #40 took the World by surprise and personally liked him a lot. George Herbert Walker Bush #41 a WWII war hero was steady but lacked the charisma to keep his position compared to William Jefferson Clinton #42. . . He was elected twice and it was WELL known that he was bad news about approaching young females for sex at his Gov mansion and that obviously continued at the White House, (Monica). #43 George Bush came in at some tough times regarding foreign policy as his predecessor had other things on his mind. #44 Barrack H. Obama came in proving that the nation was not as racially divided as it once was. If you disagree w that you need to go back to the pre 1960 and get some perspective. The country was and is divided on policy and probably will always be divided on policy. We will always disagree on things no matter who is president. As far as Donald J Trump becoming #45, I heard someone say yesterday, who was not a Trump supporter, they realized that there were 2 sides of looking at Trump that they had not previously viewed before in the so called movement. Some (the non-Trumper himself included) that he took Trump literally but not seriously as a candidate, but Trump supporters took him seriously but not literally. That made a lot of sense and to them and to me . . . Someone also said way back when he first started his candidacy that he is a New Yorker (city) and you have to understand how New Yorker’s talk. You need to keep pulling out of them what they mean and not necessarily take what they say at first what they actually mean. He said many times we New Yorker’s don’t even finish their own sentences, it’s just how we converse. Not that does not explain how he lost in NY but that’s a different story I guess. But Brittney does have a great point of view and perspective as many of our friends, relatives and neighbors are not going to feel good about this election and it is going to take time and healing and it was well stated by Hillary in her concession speech yesterday. So glad I wasn’t born in the 1800’s as I would be still writing. Who knew the passion of politics could be so powerful . . . but thank GOD that we have that opportunity, not every one does. One of the reasons we count our blessings in this great nation of the USA. God Bless!

  2. Thanks Catherine! This is my first time reading your blog. Laetitia tells me all the time about your wonderful writing. I’m sorry I didn’t start reading your posts sooner. Thanks for your balanced, honest, gospel-filled perspective.

  3. Good suggestions Catherine.

    I was actually much more afraid of Hillary than Trump.

    But the nation has spoken and we now need to do everything we can to promote peace and unify this country. It’s been far too long divided.

  4. First, I enjoyed reading this–I always appreciate your thoughts and know that we have a lot in common in the longing of our hearts for racial reconciliation and justice. What I am still trying to process after this election is how white evangelicals (in particular those who voted for Trump–but those of us who didn’t, as well) will have credibility with minority groups who are hurting and afraid when our demographic so overwhelmingly voted for him, putting him in this position of power, and therefore them in this position of vulnerability. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

    • Ah, Liz. Still working through this as well. The best I know to do at this point is to call a spade a spade and to acknowledge the situation. And to let them know that we’re their allies and will stand beside them. It’s been helpful and healing this week to just reach out to some of my friends who are part of these minority groups and to hear their words and nod along with their pain. There’s so much discourse right now around “just get over it and move on,” and that kind of dismissive attitude is just so hurtful. I feel like it takes any remaining shred of credibility we have and trashes it. So, I don’t know. It sounds so basic, but I keep landing on the importance of having true, authentic relationships with minority groups so that we can really step into their pain. And maybe we won’t agree on all policy, but at least they’ll know that we love them as people made in the image of God… and they’ll see that we place people > policy. At the end of the day, I think there’s (understandably) going to be a huge surge of distrust toward white evangelicals… so, the burden is on us. So much to think through, and I don’t know if I have the words to wrap around my thoughts yet. I’d love to sit down and talk through all of this sometime… in all of our spare time! 😉

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