Now is not a time for despair, but for hope. We know all too well the insanity of reasons for anxiety and gloom. But pessimism does us no good. If ever there was a time to hold onto faith, it is now. This election season is one of heightened anxiety, fear, and division. And never before have the stakes felt so high. Whatever your politics may be, it feels like the earth is collapsing underneath our feet. And perhaps it is. Kingdoms rise and fall, but that which is eternal endures forever.
I don’t mean to trivialize your anxiety. I feel it too. Rumors of voter fraud and intimidation, gun stockpiles, conspiracy theories, and civil war have us all unnerved. There are no trite answers sufficient to meet the magnitude of suffering. That would only be unkind, adding insult to injury. No, what I am suggesting is that there are truths that are deeper, wider, longer, and higher than every fear, every abuse, and every lie.
These three things endure forever — hope, faith, and love; and the greatest of these is love. When everything is said and done, love wins.
As a follower of Jesus, I am angry and heartbroken over the suffering and denigration of so many across our country. We are enduring overwhelming grief and loss in this time of pandemic; and it seems to be a piling-on of epic proportions. This election, I find myself sick with the greed, the violence, and the racism of our times. Our country is broken, divided, and reeling. I long for a world that is just, where the vulnerable are cared for, the oppressed are lifted up, and every human is shown dignity. I believe God calls us to stay attentive to the policies and leaders that impact our collective well-being. We must not only vote for ourselves, but for the common good. Love insists that we use our vote to work toward creating God’s beloved community on earth.
But will love win in this election?
We can only hope.
Hope As Resistance
Along with our voting, our mobilizing, our outreach, and our organizing, we must hold onto stubborn hope. Hope is resistance. Faith is protest. Love is defiance. We must resist the powers of violence, hate, and greed. We must not let fear have the last word. If the empire is falling, let it fall. But let us resolve to rebuild and co-create the world that we dream of.
No matter what happens in this election, I can assure you that the deep polarization and fragmentation of our day will persist. There is no magic wand. It will take you and me and everybody coming together across the divides to tear down unjust systems. We must not abdicate our God-given responsibility and creativity to steward a world in which all can flourish. For now is not a time for despair, but for hope.
by Jessica Ketola