It is almost over. It seems like all of us U.S. Americans have grown tired of this election cycle. Many creative trick-or-treaters took the opportunity to make the best of this Halloween with many creative costumes reflecting politics. Everyone has an opinion.
That is good, right? Isn't that the purpose of the "good old first amendment," we talk about? I know I have "enjoyed" many conversations with both my young adult kids. They have been heated at times but always respectful and always times where we have learned. I am fairly impressed at the level of knowledge my kids now have about their government. If they continue the pattern they have begun, they will do well.
But this is not what I am writing about. No, something has been angling below the surface for me in all this. You see, I am one of those "moderates" who is mysteriously floating out and about. I have friends voting for all the major candidates. I have read the FB questions, namely, the one which goes:
"I want to hear from someone who is supporting (insert candidate name) about why they are voting for them. I honestly want to know because I can't find anyone voting for (insert candidate name) yet."
I can pull out numerous people on EVERYSIDE from my FB friends...and yes, many of these are people I can say are my friends. I am so very THANKFUL my friends are this diverse but it still isn't what is bothering me.
Her words still echo in my mind when I think back to the first time I heard her say them:
"Judgmentalism was considered quite possibly the worst sin a Christian could commit to the desert fathers and mothers of the early church."
Those words of Dr. Roberta Bondi were a blow to my understanding of what could be the worst possible sin. And it is this, this judgmentalism, that is gnawing at my heart, at my own conscience. You will note, in my posts, I have stayed far away from talking politics or passing judgment. Some would argue, I am failing to stand in the pulpit and express a prophetic voice...maybe, but whose prophet would I be? Over whose vision of our country am I to proclaim a prophetic word? And, should not the Spirit of God be the one moving my heart?
And again, I find myself examining more deeply my own heart - not regarding the character of the candidates but towards which candidate(s) am I passing judgment and on whom, among friends and neighbors, am I secretly writing a note of condemnation?
But didn't Jesus say God cares even about sparrows that fall to earth? God knows the hairs on your head...and the hairs on Hillary's head and Trump's head? And this includes Obama's head and W's head? Are only your candidates worthy of grace?
I am looking at my heart and I really don't like what I see there, nope not one bit. Is it better than it was four years ago? Ten years ago? 20? I sure hope so but I am nowhere near where I would like to be, not close to what Dr. Bondi describes when she writes further about those early monastics who taught, "...the humble person knew very well that not only are all human beings sinners - himself or herself included - humility has no problem believing that God loves us and will not reject us, even damaged by sin (51, "To Love as God Loves")."
There are plenty of things in my world which damage me, which draw me away from the presence of God and toward a life I really do not want to live. The lives of politicians ought not to be one of them. So in the end, I will give to Caesar what is Caesar's but NO Caesar can lay claim to my heart. I hope and will strive to be sure my heart stays with God. In your mercy, Lord, hear my prayer.
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