I sent my kids off to school with instructions to not talk about our new president with their friends. I know that some of their friends and classmates represent groups that have been ridiculed and marginalized by our incoming-president, while others represent the votes that say "We don't care about that (your pain), we want him as our president anyway."
And that is who Donald Trump now is, the man to soon step into role as our president of these United, yet altogether divided, States of America.
I've been reading through Job the last couple weeks and couldn't stop seeing the parallels between Job and people seeing injustice in their lives and in our country, and the parallels between Job's "friends" and the privileged populations who don't personally experience that injustice. It's so easy to stay on our high horse and point out the other person's faults when we're not the one personally suffering.
A couple days ago, as I processed even more meaningless words being spewed onto the page from one of Job's friends, I wrote in my notebook "There's some truth to what Job's friends are saying, but mostly they (his friends and their faux sympathy) just suck."
When I sat down this morning to fill my heart and my mind with God's Spirit and His truth before going on social media, those were the words that met me. They sum up my feelings this morning succinctly. Trump supporters might find some truth to justify, but mostly the stance in this election and response to hurting people just sucks.
Job's friend, person of privilege, showed up through last night's results. Anything we, as unaffected privileged people, say now in celebration of Trump is a hit against my kids' classmates and our neighbors who are immigrants, and against all the other minority groups Trump has personally hurt with his direct words and plans of action against them.
It doesn't matter whether or not there's truth to pro-Trump or anti-Hillary propaganda, these words are little help or encouragement to hurting people. They're adding insult to the injury Trump has contributed to already injured groups of people. It's not the actions as much as the heart, and his winning represents a nation whose hearts are full of pride and hate.
That's where I am as I get my kids ready for school, feed them something resembling breakfast, and pray with them before sending them out the door with instructions to not talk about the election results with their friends. To not engage in a conversation that quite possibly hurts and personally affects friends and classmates listening in without their even realizing.
What I'm Doing Next
As I read Job and ask God what I'm supposed to do next, these four things became obvious.
1. Trust in God.These are not trivial words for me. He is Creator and Sustain-er of this world and in my life, always. One of God's responses to Job is, "Go ahead, show your stuff. Unleash your outrage. Target the arrogant and lay them flat. I'll gladly step aside and hand things over to you." (from Job 40) God's still in charge; His good still gets the last word. I want to work with Him and be used for His purpose; I certainly don't plan to step up as the Savior of the world or America. So I'll bring my trust back to God, the One who is Savior.
2. Be honest to my experience and observations.Job was honest with God, with what he knew to be true about God and what he knew to be true about his experience. God's response isn't in anger to Job. Job was honest with God and about God, and God sticks up for Job in front of his friends saying, "You haven't been honest with me or about me--not the way my friend Job has." (from Job 42) If I'm going to err on saying too much, it's going to be honest about my experience and observations and sticking up for justice.
3. Pray for my friends.Job's burden was released and his blessings restored when he prayed for his friends (Job 42:8, 10). There's no justification in telling people off or having online battles over the outcome of things. This is a lesson I've been teaching my kids. It doesn't matter what fueled them, they are in charge of their words and their actions. They are in charge of starting or stopping the battle. And so am I. So I will pray and release as I move forward in God's lead.
4. Honor Job's daughters.I've never paid attention to this part of the story and cried as I read it this morning. Especially against the rhetoric of our incoming-president's degrading comments toward women. Job was blessed with ten more children--7 sons and 3 daughters. In a Bible and culture full of men's names and genealogies and inheritances, only his daughters are written by name, they are called beautiful, and they even received inheritances along with and equal to their brothers. (Job 42:13-15) In a book about injustice and faith and God's goodness, even the marginalized are blessed and worthy and equal. The same goes for anyone feeling taken advantage of or overlooked or mistreated--before God we are named and we are beautiful and we are part of His inheritance. I stand up in that honor for myself as a woman and for others who are hurting.
And my prayer...
Lord, you are still on your throne, and for that I am truly thankful. We are still on this earth and need a little extra courage and direction from You. To continue in Your love and truth and light. Fill us with Your Spirit that You might flow through our words and actions. Even when we feel hurt or angered by the injustice we experience or witness around us. May we not start or engage the battle and instead be conscientious objectors watching Your goodness and Your glory get the last word. For these things I ask and thank You in Jesus' name, Amen!
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