If you are here with me in the US, you know there has been a lot going on lately.
If you are not here in the US, you still probably know.
It has been a whirlwind of thoughts and feelings. I have seen passion. And I have seen hate. I have seen hope. And I have seen grief.
What is strange for me, is that I feel like I know everyone, on all sides, on all beliefs.
The street I live on is filled with Trump supporters who have very different opinions from me. And I believe my husband and I have been called to love our neighbors, just as we always have.
I have family members who voted for Trump. Not because they are racist, bigots, or sexist, but because of their Republican values and belief that having Republicans in office will be better, even if they do not think the candidate is great.
It doesn’t matter if I agree, I still love my family and believe I should hear their perspective. And I will share mine with them, too.
I also know people from church and college, who I have always considered very kind and caring, who are actively supporting the presidency. This is confusing for me, and I am trying to understand.
And then I know the majority of my friends, who are of a much more liberal perspective. Some are disgusted. Some are fearful. Some are motivated to make change. I have seen them post beautiful inspiring convictions online about caring for the marginalized. And I have also seen others post hateful and mean spirited comments toward those who voted differently from them – calling these people worthless and stupid.
Many of my co-workers and clients are people of color and gay/lesbian sexual orientation. They are hurt and confused by what is happening. I work with young homeless adults trying to help them get housed and gain resources – and they express great fearfulness of what a Trump presidency looks like for them. My husband has worked the last 3 years in a program helping refugees, and is fearful what policy changes could mean for these people he has grown to care for so deeply.
This Our Chance
Despite the chaos, despite the mess – I believe this is our chance.
This is our chance to fiercely stand up against injustice.
This is our chance to be instruments of peace.
This is our chance to rise up.
Although these are concerning times for America, I have seen something that has inspired me.
I have seen people get serious about their causes and their beliefs. When we see injustice, it creates passion in us. And when there is passion in us, this fuels us to do things we may not have done otherwise.
The day after the election, one of our friends started a Facebook group focused on how we can love the marginalized in our city better. For those who might be fearful living in the US right now – how can we show them that they are cared for and valuable.
I have heard before that the Chinese word for “Crisis” means danger + opportunity.
When there is a crisis – there is danger. But there is always an opportunity as well. There is an opportunity for good. For transformation. For people to rise up and make change.
It’s easy to sit back when we feel like others are handling the problems of the world. But when we feel like it is truly up to us, suddenly there is a passion within us to take action because the work of our hands and our voices suddenly matters now more than ever.
Act Justly, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly
Micah 6:8: He has shown you what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and love mercy and walk humbly with your God.
Let us act justly. Let us fight for what is right. Let us not tolerate violence and hate. Let us stand up fiercely for what is wrong.
Let us be merciful. Let us be merciful toward those who are hurting right now. Those who are fearful. Those who are marginalized.
Let us walk humbly. Let us be open to hearing opinions that are different from our own. Let us try to understand them. Even those who are out right doing wrong and being hateful – why are they doing this? Is their own insecurities or lack of self worth fueling their actions? We are not excusing bad behavior, we are just trying to understand it.
Love those who are hurting.
Love those who feel misunderstood.
Love those you disagree with.
A Few Last Words
Although this post was specifically about the US election, I want to extend this message to everyone reading, no matter what country you live in, or what is going on in your life.
I challenge you to reflect on these questions.
Where do you see injustice?
Where do you need to rise up and show love?
How can you show love to the broken?
How can you love those you disagree with?
In what ways do you feel called to act justly in your life right now?
In what ways do you feel called to show mercy in your life right now?
In what ways do you feel called to be humble in your life right now?
Also, I don’t usually post about politics on here, but I want you to know, if your views are different from mine, you continue to be very welcome here. I want to make sure you know that. I hope I can learn from you, and you can you learn from me.
Friends, will you join with me – in using our voices, our hands, our feet, our skills, our love – to change the world?
To make it be a more joyful and loving place.
These times may be scary.
But there is also great opportunity here, for us to rise up.
This is our chance.
8 thoughts on “This is Our Chance.”
Really glad you wrote something about this, Nicole!
The election had been weighing heavily on me – I know not everybody feels this way, but I was really disappointed the whole season with the candidates, but especially by the Republican candidate! I think everybody was surprised and sort of distraught when he won, but I’m so grateful to hear this re-framed, and the future made hopeful again. Yes yes yes, it’s up to us, and our response to this will decide the future! Just what I needed to hear, and I feel inspired for reading it. Thanks again, Nicole 🙂
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Hey Emily! Glad you found inspiration in this – and glad to hear you are also motivated to create a more hopeful future! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts! 🙂
I’m really glad you wrote about this, Nicole!
I’m still kind of in shock from the results of the election – nobody that I knew really thought Trump had a chance, and we’re all kind of nervous to see how the future goes. Nevertheless, I think you’re correct that out of challenges like this are opportunites to show who we really are! I know for me, I feel better about the future knowing that we can have a positive impact. Near where I live, there have been some reports of people getting harassed, and some neo-nazis having a rally even. I want to do something to make people feel welcome here, as opposed to afraid for their future. Have you seen any fallout from the election?
Hi Andi – thanks for sharing your thoughts regarding the election, and yes, unfortunately there has been similar events happening in my communities. There is a Muslim woman who lives nearby who has reported multiple episodes of harassment and kids at a nearby school chanting “build that wall” to Hispanic students. It truly is horrible. And it just makes me realize how important it is that we take action and stand up against injustice right now.
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Honestly, I wish I felt more optimistic than I do, Nicole.
I have family members that voted for Trump, too, but I know the discussion went really badly when we tried to talk about it: I felt really angry that he’d been elected, and I probably wasn’t fair to my family. Reading this article made me feel a little easier about them – I still don’t agree with their decision, but I guess I know it wasn’t made from bad motives. I know you talked about sharing your perspective – how did you start that conversation?
Hi Chrissy – thanks for sharing this. In regard to talking to those with a different opinion, I have found if I am willing to fully hear out their opinion first, they are willing to give more thought and consideration to my opinion too. I don’t want to accept something that I believe is “wrong thinking,” but at the same time, I know that they will never understand my point of view, if we can’t sit down together long enough to have a real and civil conversation about it. I may not be able to change their perspective in that conversation, but I can “plant seeds” and continue to water those seeds through many small conversations. My family attends a church of Trump supporters – so if the only people they talk to are their church friends, then their view will never change. I think I have a responsibility to have these small ongoing conversations with them.
What an excellent reminder, Nicole!
I think some people were more surprised by the outcome of the election than I was – where I live, almost everybody had a Trump sign in their front yard. I admit, it was pretty depressing, but I know most of them weren’t acting out of rage or hate. I just wish I knew how to describe the fear that some of my friends are feeling with this new election. I feel like people are so motivated by anger at the other side, politically, that discussion is hard. I really like the tone of your article – I do want to rise up and be peace! I hear as much anger and debate from my liberal friends as from my conservative ones, and I don’t believe that’s the way to meet, I just wish I could make people come together – but like I said, great article, and thanks again. I’m glad you’re still writing!🙂
Hi Lily! I agree that it is very challenging to have discussion when people are so angry on either side. We have to find a way to talk to each other, or things will never change. I am excited that you are motivated to rise up and be peace – and it sounds like you are someone who is able to see things from many perspectives, which is an awesome skill to have. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with me!