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Christ's Response to Opposition

This week has been an eye opening week for our country.   No matter how one voted, most did not expect the shocking win that Donald Trump impressively stole from Hillary Clinton.  
The day I voted, I made it clear that my leader would not change come November 9th, 2016.  As a self-professed infomaniac, I followed the news diligently.  I rotated all news channels, print vs. television, read both conservative and liberal medias and tried my absolute very best to make the best decision I could based on what we had before us.  I did not like either option and was burdened by both.  My mind was not made up until I went unto the polling booth.  At any minute, I could have been swayed.  While my Christian values ultimately brought me to how I should cast my vote, many others could use same said Christian ideals to vote for the opposite party with different reasoning.  I am not here to judge with political platform is more aligned with Christian values.
It's important to note that we all have different life experiences that lead us to the platform that best suits our vision for America and that's why we have the free right to vote in this country.  As a Christian, I love all religious backgrounds and engage in friendships with people based on their hearts, not religious choices.  I don't think differently about an individual based on how they choose to vote. I have people I love and respect who are die hards for both and I love them the same.
While a Donald Trump presidency scares me and makes me cringe in many ways, a Hillary Clinton presidency would have done the exact same thing.  I am no better off with either candidate.
No matter how I would or could justify myself to my children, my own conscious or anyone else seems to no longer matter.  The second Americans woke up Wednesday morning, a new wave of a domestic war had begun.  The attacks on people's personal character, their religious beliefs, their life experiences that led them to vote how they did have been far too much to absorb.  This has to stop.
I have watched 35 year olds..let me reiterate...THIRTY-FIVE year olds...threaten to delete people from their life, cast numerous stones, judge and stereotype, name call, blast, and blatantly disrespect the perspectives of others.  We aren't talking about two candidates where one was an angel and the other the devil...we are talking about two candidates who are both deemed by most Americans as deeply flawed and of poor character.  THIS is what we are casting stones over people.
How, as Christians, can we stand as Believers, together as one, despite fundamental political differences?  By looking directly at Jesus and His ministry to those who opposed Him.  
Dear Christian With Opposing Views to Mine,
I see you. I understand you. I hurt like you hurt. In many ways, I am you. In some ways, I am not like you. This election season presented many issues beyond the policies on the ballot. Many of us are in the middle of the road and agree with certain aspects of each platform but were given two faces for these platforms that were so appalling, that it made voting for the things that mattered to us that much harder. For different personal life experiences, we had to chose to sacrifice somewhere. Both faces were nauseating characteristically. This was not your typical election year and we can ALL agree on that.
I have loved many of the oppressed who live in fear today.  I have been in the shoes of holding a person in fear of losing their loved one due to deportation. When I taught in Irving, I will never forget crying with a 12 year old--a CHILD-- whose mother had been taken in by immigration while she was at school. Because she was born here and had citizenship, she was left with family members. Alone. In her country, but not her moms. It was devastating. It tore me to pieces, just like the little girl who wrote me an essay on how she used a coyote to get to America, traveling from Guatemala, illegally traveling through Mexico, then across the Rio Grande with her little 8 year old brother. Her parents were already here so she was doing this alone. I can't imagine the terror. My heart, again, broke for her and it would break if she was deported "just because" tomorrow. Those memories and moments are forever engrained in my mind. The pain, the sorrow, the appearances of no justice. Nothing softens that kind of blow. Nothing. I understand the fear and the high emotions, but I also had Hispanic immigrants who believed strongly in coming here the right way and deporting others because their family had to fight HARD and to get here and be naturalized. Where is the justice for those people, too?  We cannot live our lives only focusing on one side of every story or life experience.
There are so many examples of the oppressed that are hurting today, living in fear of a Donald Trump president.  
I fully respect how you see that your Christian values are the foundation of why you voted the way you did and I will never argue your personal beliefs, but I do expect the same respect for mine.  Can we take a moment to evaluate how Christ responded to His opposition?  Did he protest, did he curl up in a ball and cry foul, did he persecute others, did he mock them, did he judge them, did he spew venom at their character?
He told his disciples to love the opposition, to further their purpose in love to further His kingdom, to be a witness of His love and light. He told them to display the fruits of the Spirit in their witness (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control) even when faced with opposition, as Christ's goal is the salvation of mankind, seeking harmony and unity. That is why so many people, especially believers, are calling for unity. Not to discredit the feelings of others, but because that is how we are told to conduct our lives: with unity. I would have never imagined hoping for unity could be offensive to anyone.
No matter how one's Christian values are justified within themselves to align with a political platform, Christ would never stand behind his disciples asking His chosen people to live without unity.  As His disciples, we are called into unity and we are to seek peace to further his kingdom. We are to be humbled in our opinions as our witness to Him. We are to never, ever seek discord under any circumstances, especially with our brothers and sisters in Christ.
And as for Trump and his salvation, you are exactly right. I do not feel that he is a brother of mine in Christ. But do you know what? He could be someday and what an incredible, beautiful testimony that would be before the WORLD that a man as disgusting as Donald Trump could be redeemed. Can you even imagine the impact his redemption and transformation could have on the world stage? Instead of arguing about who is more Christ-like or who is more compassionate to the marginalized and disenfranchised, our focus should be PRAYING that the Lord use this despicable man in a shocking way to bring others to the Lord.
Americans have their right to a voice today and everyday, but we all need to do better about this voice we've been freely given. We all need to come together and understand that it is a difficult time for MOST Americans for all sorts of reasons and respect that commonality instead of lumping the two sets of voters into two vastly different stereotypes.
Imagine, again, if you will.... Imagine that all those people standing in the streets today screaming their anger at Donald Trump getting into the trenches with the oppressed and actively rising up with them and fighting for THEIR voices to be heard. 
Take those voices who call Donald Trump a racist and instead of marching in front of Trump Towers, go to an inner city school and get with the kids, help them break the cycle and become educated.  
Take those whose voices are for battered and abused women who fear Donald Trump and send these people into women's shelters around the country, advocating for their support, empowering these women to rise above, loving them so fiercely.
Get involved with an immigration human rights group and provide shelter and meals for these families who lose loved ones to deportation.  
Get in the trenches, Americans.  BE THE LOVE YOU SEEK.  Do not depend on a man in the White House to dictate that barometer of change.  The power is in YOUR hands and protesting in the street does nothing but cause further division.  
How many of you who are actively Christian shaming your brethren out there are actually serving the community in which you cry out for?  That is where the difference is made. Not with a vote.
One thing we do know is that regardless of who is the president, regardless of our religious beliefs, social status, demographic, etc, LOVE DOES make the world go round. We can be hurt and still love. We can be fearful and still love. We can disagree and still love. We can be battered and bruised but still love. But doing each of those without love, only divides. Can we humble ourselves (those who are rejoicing, those who were bruised from losing, those who are caught somewhere in the middle) and take actions that show love to everyone instead of actions that divide us further? Is it possible to have voices yet still respect others? Let's make that our goal instead of protesting, crumbling into blackholes, attacking strangers, sharing articles that promote said fear without fact checking, and stereotyping by how they voted. Love can and will stomp out fear. Fear can't grow and manifest if we are focusing on wholeheartedly loving.
My challenge to everyone in these days following such a passionate election is to let your LOVE shine before your personal beliefs and feelings. If we focus on our love being evident, our voices will be heard much louder and much more clearly. The disciples LOVE shined and their voices were so very heard.
"Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love." 1 John 4:18
Let's do better than this.

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