I’ve sat at my computer typing and deleting, typing and deleting. I have so many thoughts, so many emotions, and arguments, and feelings. There is so much hurting in my heart. I’m angry. I’m sad. I’m scared. I’m heartbroken. But I’m not shocked. I’ve thought we were going this way. I’ve thought it for a very long time.
I am a conservative.
I am white.
I am a woman.
By our electoral division, the first two of those things should place me in a very specific category. The third should place me in the other.
I voted. I didn’t vote for Donald Trump. I didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton.
I am a military spouse.
I am the mother to two special needs children.
I am pro-life.
Again by our defined division, I should be placed in two different categories.
I have been deeply conflicted. I held onto my absentee ballot for a month before filling it out and mailing it in because I was so angry that this was where we were. I was angry that my children were learning that these were the two people we chose for the highest office in our nation.
I was angry that our process allows for that to happen.
I’ve listened as people who know my background, know my previous political stances, told me that not only was it against my Christian faith to vote for Hillary Clinton but that it was against my faith to not vote for Donald Trump.
People of my faith telling me what my faith requires of me.
That my faith requires me to ignore a man who both speaks loudly and carries a big stick, who would mock my own incredible, gifted, beautifully different children, who would mock me, who would define anyone by race, who boasts about violating women in a way we would never accept for our daughters … that it requires me to ignore that?
I do not believe that. I do not believe that will ever be required of me. No, I could not ignore those things. I could not look at my children and say this is the better person.
That isn’t my view of America. That isn’t my view of the Church.
That’s where my heart kept falling back to this morning. A president will never be – and should never be – the head of the Church, the head of a faith. No president will be my savior – not of my soul, not of my religion.
Our nation has never been about the president. Our nation is about the people. The Church has never been about a person other than Christ, His body, His hands, feet, mind and heart. The people of that faith are called to be those things.
And so today, as in every day, I will be kind. I will extend my hands. I will be His body. In division, I will defend those attacked. When there is hatred, you will know love far beyond just the word. You will know love in my defense of your rights, your beliefs different from my own, your place in this world and within this nation.
I will continue to seek understanding and to find middle ground. I will continue to listen to your heart-deep thoughts and offer my own in respect.
I will continue to see those who do not look like me for the beauty that is them. I will celebrate diversity. I will lift up those who are hurting. I will be deeply pro-life in the truest meaning of the phrase. I will value you. I will see you. I will respect your place in this world. I will feed the hungry, shelter the hurting, lift the fallen. I will smile at eye-contact, hold open doors and walk in kindness.
It will have nothing to do with whom we elect as president. It will have nothing to do with the labels attached to me. It will have everything to do with my faith, with the basic call of humanity, with the hard-fought will to simply do more.
No president determines the greatness of our nation. Not Ronald Reagan. Not Abraham Lincoln. Not Donald Trump.
We the people make our nation. We cannot change yesterday, or the many, many days that brought us to it. We are a nation desperately seeking and needing change. We need to change the way we view our fellow man. We need to change the way we speak to one another. We need to deeply, fully examine the most abandoned parts of our hearts. We need to find empathy. We need to find strength. We must again learn to truly think before we speak.
Whether voting for him or not, voting for her or not, our faith – our basic faith in humanity – must never be placed in a single person. We are always strongest when we hear each other. When we build up one another. When we walk humbly. Love mercifully.
We are called to so much more than the power given to a single man.
I still believe in the greatness that is and has always been America. We have always strived to do more. To be greater. To achieve, build, and to welcome. I believe we are still that nation, still those people, however lost we are right now.
We the people. Not, “I the president”.
We. The. People.
We are made for more.