In his book, Soul Keeping, John Ortberg recounts a conversation he had with Dallas Willard. Ortberg was facing a time of difficulty and called Willard for counsel and, he hoped, an answer that would help smooth the way. Dallas Willard said to him, "This will be a test of your joyful confidence in God." Willard's gentle challenge to him was to remain confident in God, joyfully confident. This short, simple sentence has been clanging in my head for a little more than a week.
The day after the election I deactivated my Facebook account. There is nothing about the 24 hours leading up to that decision that wasn't heartbreaking to me. On election day morning I shared a post of excitement about what I thought would happen that day, a post about what I thought was going to be the realization of a lifelong dream. And even before my dreams were dashed by the actual results of the election, some my Facebook friends stomped on my heart.
I get it. The election this year was difficult and it is too easy to quickly write something on someone's Facebook post without considering the actual person behind the post. I know I've done it. I might have hurt you with a flippant, unthinking remark. I am sorry. If I do something to hurt you, would you please tell me? I don't want to be a cause of pain in your life. There's enough hurt in this world. I don't want to add to it.
I do not hate anyone because of who they voted for. I may think you are wrong but I deeply believe in your right to vote for anyone you choose to vote for. I am very concerned by what I am seeing in these days of transition into President Trump's term of office. I am very concerned by some of the things being said, some of the people being tapped for positions in the administration, some of the actions being taken as a result of the election. And I am worried about the future of our country and the path we may be headed down.
This election has goaded me into action in new ways. I spent more time than I like to admit researching local offices I might want to run for. I've added to the list of organizations that I believe in and want to support, both with my time and with my finances. This is not about politics. This is about working for good.
I reactivated my Facebook account today. I had to because of some pages I manage but also I don't want to remove myself from things. Truth is, Facebook does make a difference (even if Mark Zuckerberg wants to deny it). I feel so, so different from many of my Facebook friends. But differences are good and I'm not going to go away just because those people aren't like me.