By Sister Julie Myers, OSF
As I sit here at my desk attempting to write this blog, our country sits in tension, consumed by the election process. Today (Tuesday, 11.8) is Election Day in the United States and millions of Americans respond to their right to vote. Emotions, feelings and tempers are at peak level and have been for the past several months. This is a historic day for our country; there is no doubt about it.
Americans have been bombarded with campaign trails, literature, yard signs, TV and radio commercials, and it all seems to have brought out the worst in so many of us. Instead of building excitement and confidence in the American people the candidates have left a trail of disappointment and heavy-heartedness. Their speeches have been more about slinging mud at each other than paving plans for our future. As Christians we are called to love one another and to show reverence for our neighbor. Yet, the two candidates running for the most honored position of our great country have done anything but show love and respect.
I am reminded of a powerful statement by the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who said:
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
Whoever wins this election inherits a much divided country—one created by their own divisive behavior. Their greatest challenge will not be a nuclear war, but the toxic air our citizens now breathe. There must be a plan to unite our nation, to bring peace back into conversations and relationships, and to heal the brokenness we now live with. We need a plan to secure our country’s financial system, build our business structures and care for humanity.
Maybe, just maybe, the first step to healing our beautiful country must be taken by the citizens ourselves—by me and you! How can we initiate civil conversations and peaceful gatherings in our daily lives? How can we get more involved in our local systems to make a difference and pull people together? May that be the prayer we utter over the next several weeks as we recover from the past several months?
In a few short hours, we will learn the name of our next President of the United States. As a people of integrity, we each will be challenged to support him or her for the next four years. Let us become the light that dispels darkness and the love that drives out hate, so that we can stand together as one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.