I tried to think of something “bookish” to say today, but if you are an American like me, your mind is a bit preoccupied at the moment. So instead, I opted for talking about what happened yesterday. The funny thing about social media is that I am writing this on November 8, before the outcome has even come close to being announced.
Oddly enough, I think it’s the perfect time to address my subject. But I have to rewind a bit first.
Back when my parenting books were first released, I did a lot of public speaking (I still love it, theater major that I am). One of those events came on the heels of a massive parenting crisis in my personal life. I called a colleague for advice, unsure that I could work through the cloud of my own personal chaos to offer anything useful to the mothers in my audience. “What do you still know to be true?” my wise friend asked me. “What’s true on a day like today is perhaps what’s most true of all, don’t you think?”
She was right. And so, today, I offer what I still know to be true:
1. How we treat each other matters.
While politics may smack of war, democracy can still know how to be kind. Respect is the threshold to how we move forward. Go out of your way to be kind to someone today. And tomorrow, and the day after.
2. God knows no surprises.
Today’s outcome came as no surprise to our Sovereign Lord. His plans are never thwarted, He is never blindsided nor overcome. Our fears and doubts and disappointments are only a function of our limited vision. God is still ever-faithful and trustworthy. None of that changed one bit as a result of the world we were presented with this morning. Not. One. Bit.
3. The first twenty-four hours never count.
If you took a hit today, or if you claim a victory today, how you feel right now is rarely a clear indicator of how you’ll feel two days, a week, or a month from now. The real truth has yet to emerge. Today, everyone is reacting. Sooner or later—hopefully sooner—we’ll find a way to respond. And there are always good choices in how to respond.
You may be elated with this election’s outcomes. You may be deeply concerned. I expect lots of us are a little of both. I’ll be praying that America shows what’s best about ourselves and moves past the dark underbelly most of us have spent too much time staring at lately.
And while that dark underbelly shows up a lot on all those screens that clamor for our attention, what’s best about us shows up in the faces of people around you.
So look there, in the faces you meet today and look up. That’s what I know to be true.