On November 9, Hug Somebody

Why, hello November. When did you show up? October feels like a blur. I’ve been busy. Work, school, and what not. My posts haven’t been as timely as I would have liked, but such is life. As many of you are aware, we are several days away from the infamous election day. Soon the mantras, chants, and verbal challenges of the season will come to an end. “Trump for President!” “Clinton for President!” “Never Trump!” “Never Clinton!” “Break the system with Johnson or Stein!” “A third party vote is a waste!” “Wait, who’s Evan McMullin?!”

So much to keep track of. So many divisive issues. So many scandals. A media mish-mash of he-said-she-said political debate and slander. Tis the season. I’m not here today to add my two cents to the political discussion. I’ll vote on Tuesday. I won’t share with you for who. Someone will be elected president. And life will continue on with challenges, old and new.

But I want to offer one very cheesy idea for November 9, 2016. Hug someone who did not vote as you did. Seriously. Once you’ve watched the poll results get broadcasted into the darkness of Tuesday night, have a good cheer, sigh, cry or what have you. Get some warm milk, hot tea, glass of wine or whatever suits your mood. Then go to bed. Do your best to get a good night’s rest. And on Wednesday November 9, hug someone who did not vote for the same candidate as you did. Do not apologize for the loss of his or her candidate (because you’re not sorry. Don’t be a disingenuous ass). Do not hug the person and whisper “You’ve doomed us all.” Just hug the person. Start with the hug. If you feel gutsy, maybe offer to buy him or her coffee, then ask how the family is, or how is working treating him or her. Maybe ask about their hopes and dreams. And leave the election out of it. Not forever. The political discussions have their place.

But on November 9, 2016, remember the humanity of those who did not vote as you did. That person is still bears the imago dei, the image of God. They are still people cherished by the Creator. They are not monsters, regardless of who they voted for.

Aren’t we all hurting? Aren’t we all concerned with the state of of world? Don’t we all vote according to our conscience? Let us remember that even if you find the voting decision of another person heinous and beyond logic, that person may think the same of you.

You have needs that you thought this candidate would meet in some fashion, whether directly or indirectly. And so does your neighbor. Because that “short-sighted fool who voted for [candidate]” is your neighbor. That person is my neighbor. What are your neighbor’s needs? How can you help? How can I help? But we need to bridge the divide. We need to heal the animosity and the hurt feelings. We need to share our fears. Because our fear is not “If Trump is elected,” or “If Clinton is elected.” Our fears our for family and friends. They are for our livelihood and provision. They are for the safety and security of ourselves and those we care for. What if we feared for the wellbeing of those who disagree with us? What if we had mercy?

Jesus was asked by an expert of the Law “Who is my neighbor?” There’s a great story there in Luke 10:25-37. Maybe read that with breakfast on Wednesday, November 9, 2016.

Then go hug someone who voted differently than you.

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