Juggling despair, grief and hope: morning after election reflections

031416 rock stack secureI don’t know how to write today. I have intense feelings, and I’d prefer to rail at the world. I’m not going to do that. I’m not going to blame. However, I’m still going to speak my pain and my heart.

I can’t wrap my brain around the results, or the deep divide I’m seeing between rural and urban areas, or the Coasts and the rest of the country, or frankly, along racial lines. For a significant number of people, anybody was better than Hillary Clinton — even if that someone was Donald Trump. We’re entrenched in two very different visions of the U.S. we’d like to see, and we seem to have lost the ability to communicate with each other.

This country turned out not to be the place I hoped it was. And whether it’s healthy or not, Clinton’s loss feels like an assault on womanhood (among other things). An intelligent woman with political experience loses the electoral vote to a man without political experience (and with a questionable business track record) who expresses racist, sexist, xenophobic sentiments. No, I didn’t like Clinton just because she’s a woman, and yes, I can understand why some folks don’t like her — though not the degree of vitriol I’ve seen this year.

Perhaps I’m most disappointed because yesterday morning I teared up on the way to the polling place. I was overwhelmed at the significance of having a woman as a viable candidate for President. I never thought I’d see this in my lifetime. I felt empowered in my womanhood yesterday morning, and then found myself feeling like a caged bird this morning. I’m suffocated by the limitations of womanhood today, and I struggle with despair. Continue reading

For the young women I know

This election feels so much more high stakes, but every election feels like the end of the world. In a sense, every election is the end of a world, especially elections without an incumbent. A way of life is ending. Change comes, whether I like it or not.

But, little actually changes. Promises are issued. Some are broken. Bills are passed. And yet, few significant changes happen in my life because of this turnover. Maybe this time things will be different.

But, likely not.

I’m no longer afraid. God is bigger than this election.

Still, grief visits. Anger lurks not far behind. Continue reading

What if election season is good for us?

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Election season freaks me out. Following news on Twitter. Skimming through posts in my Facebook feed. Listening to political conversations. All of it is making me bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S.

And as I sat prepping sermon notes this morning, my emotions got in the way. I am afraid. When I get scared, I lose hope. I want to control people instead of trust them. I focus on guilt over invitation.

But, here’s the deal. None of those inclinations are helpful. They don’t produce the change I’d like in the world. Hope. Trust. Invitation. These are the things which move us together towards a goal. Continue reading

It’s Super Tuesday Tomorrow. Will You Participate?

022916 Flag at Sunset

American flag at sunset

For the first time I can remember, I feel anxious about the current political situation in the United States. Instead of wringing my hands about the whole deal, I decided I’m going to take my civic responsibilities seriously.

So, this year, I’m trying out precinct caucusing here in Minnesota. I feel like I’m experiencing a rite of passage, like I’m charting some previously unexplored part of adulthood.

For those of you in Minnesota, I encourage you to consider heading to your precinct caucus, too.

Continue reading