In the wake of the protests and hate mongering following the presidential election, it is hard not to give in to anger and fear.
Anger that people feel so free to belittle, threaten and attack those who are different from them. Fear that what makes America the great country it is–our inclusive freedoms and values–may vanish.
We must continue to choose love, not hate, and look to God for strength and resolution.
Many hurl out hurtful words. Random violence continues. This behavior does nothing to reconcile our differences and build bridges that enable us to work together.
We’ve heard stories of racial slurs painted on bathroom walls in high schools and threats against individuals and groups. Protests, anger and anguish were not the intended outcomes of this year’s presidential election.
Not intended, but certainly the reality America is facing now. People on both sides of the political arena are reacting to the election. Some feel emboldened to act on their hate. Others protest the election, the violence and the electoral college results.
It seems that no matter which political party one aligns with, there is cause for action or reaction.
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A friend’s daughter fears for her marriage. She and her wife are newlyweds. They are young, educated, professional women who are afraid that the new climate in America may put their life together, or their very lives, at risk.
A beautiful, young, Jewish college student wakes to find swastikas painted on her dorm room door. Muslim men, women and children fear being rounded up and put in internment camps as was done to the Japanese during WWII. Hispanic families dread deportation or fracture because of legal status.
What does this mean for us as bold Lutheran women? It means we are called to pray, to act, to love. We must point the way to Christ, be the light.
I’ve seen a television commercial recently that seems to be a reaction to this climate of fear. In it, a variety of people sings “Put A Little Love in Your Heart.”
Isn’t that what we all need to do right now? Respond with love. That is what the Bible clearly says. In Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus admonishes us not to worry. “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink…”
All the worry in the world will not make a situation better.
Hold fast, dear sisters in Christ, to the promises that our Lord has given us. Cling to each other and the love that comes from above, a love that is so deep and so wide that we can never use it up, but rather let it overflow to those around us.
Take courage in knowing that God has never failed us and won’t. God’s got this.
Tricia Niesche is a retired elementary teacher who serves on the Saint Paul Area Synodical Women’s Organization board. She writes for a variety of organizations and her church, St. Mark Lutheran Church, Circle Pines, Minn. Read other Women of the ELCA blogs here.