It is disappointing to me to hear so many fellow Christians expressing anger that Donald Trump is our president.
For starters, he was not my nominee of choice. I find him arrogant, rude, ridiculous and brash, among a host of other characteristics.
However, I cannot turn my back on the faith I profess. The faith which obliges me to remain hopeful and to be merciful.
As Christians, we are the Easter people! The people of hope! Our hope lies in the Word of God and His church. They have shown us time and time again that leaders and kings with massive brokenness and weakness are used to work wonders of the Holy Spirit.
If we walk around griping, moaning and predicting what a disaster the next four years will be, what are we proclaiming to those around us? We are saying that despite a person expressing a willingness to work for good, their past, their faults, behavior and personality will impede them.
Is our speech evangelizing a faith of mercy and trust? Or are we saying there is mercy for some- the ones who are kind tongued and holy-but no good could come from the ones who are difficult to bear? This is not practicing what we preach.
How can so many ‘Christians’ not be hopeful in this circumstance? The more I pondered and prayed about this, the more the Lord placed desire on my heart to share this with all of you. I remembered King David. King David was a married man who was eying his best friend’s wife, then committed adultery, got her pregnant, then had Uriah (the best friend)murdered so she (best friend’s said wife) would be available to wed. Yikes. That some pretty nasty page 6 stuff going on for King David.
Lest we forget that King David also established the Kingdom of Jerusalem, he is Israel’s most beloved King mentioned a little more than 1,000 times in the Old Testament alone!
King David, that broken scalawag was solely responsible for bringing the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem…’placing divine worship at the center of national life’ (Bible Basics, Bergsma)
My guess is not many people who knew of David’s sins would have ‘voted’ for him or given him much support.
‘David? Yeah right. He’s out of control. He’s on a power trip. The guy thinks he can get away with murder!‘ (pun intended)
However, I am amazed at how far and wide the Lord’s power stretched through the broken mirrors of his soul. The Lord ends up making a covenant with David (no small deal)… and it is from David’s lineage that the Son of God comes forth. That’s quite a story of hope for all of us!
Biblical history is littered with stories such as these. Saint Peter himself, publicly denouncing Christ. What about Samson, Noah, Lot, Thomas the Apostle, Jacob, Rahab or Saint Paul? Saint Paul murdered Christians before he became the greatest advocate for Christianity. How is it that these types of men, with their faults, sins and difficult personalities were able to be used as instruments for immense good?
Perhaps there is an actual chance that victories for Christianity can happen through the Trump administration? Absolutely.
Any Christian who knows what our faith professes cannot deny it. The Bible proclaims it. Sunday’s second reading re-iterates it:
“Consider your own calling, brothers and sisters.
Not many of you were wise by human standards,
not many were powerful,
not many were of noble birth.
Rather, God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise,
and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong,
and God chose the lowly and despised of the world,
those who count for nothing…” (1 Cor 1:26-31)
Looking through that lens, what Christian cannot be filled with joy? He’s a dang fool. Of course he is. But so am I. And you. The joyful news that we must remember is after 8 long years of anti-Christian, a-moral, pro-abortion, un-open to discussion administration suffocating the life out of us- we have someone who is at least attempting to try!
Perhaps he’s not your top pick. That’s ok. But here is someone who has expressed a willingness to fight for life and on the side of our Christian beliefs. No matter what his past sins are or his personality is like, he is making strides in alignment with our faith beliefs. A fool who’s trying. Hmmm sounds a lot like, well, every human being on the planet earth.
If we vocalize contempt and doubt instead of encouragement and hope what are we telling those around us? What are we teaching our children? We will inadvertently teach them to focus in on faults, and we become the Pharisees. Who among us is that perfect?
I’m begging all Christians, in light of our faith, in light of the tremendous examples in the Bible, we have to stop the bickering and the belittling. You simply cannot say you are Christian and turn around, in such a time as this, and refuse to be joyful when a broken person does something good for the Church.
To say with our examples, “So you say you want to work on our side, but we all know the sins of your past and we’re going to hold you to your baggage and say it’s impossible…’
This is not our faith.
And the argument does not work for ‘the other candidate’ or the ‘previous president’ because in order for God to work through someone, there must be willingness. And on ‘her’ part and ‘his’ they avowedly expressed no such willingness.
If the banning of federally funded abortions, the re-institution of the Mexico City Policy…within the first week of office isn’t a step of willingness in the right direction than I don’t know what is. (Praise God just thinking about the babies that will be spared because of these two acts! Hallelujah!) Also, let us look to who is being placed in significant positions by this administration: good leaders like Andrew Bremburg, Dr. Ben Carson, Kellyanne Conway.
Let us recall that no administration has ever ‘fully supported’ the March for Life. This administration publicly mentioned at least three times that the March for Life has their ‘full support’. And their lack of comment on the Women’s March should speak volumes for which side of the abortion issue their allegiance lies. The issue of life, especially the life of the unborn, is the single most critical issue that we face today, and any victory in their defense deserves to be celebrated!
If these aren’t hopeful signs and a reason to rejoice then thank goodness you won’t be the one in charge of judging me at the end of my life. Yikes! Tough crowd.
This is not to infer that we all need to get on the bandwagon and love their personalities or their past. This is not to say turn a blind eye. This also obviously doesn’t mean that we need to support every future decision that this administration makes. But it is to say, how could there ever be hope for any of us if there is no hope in this situation? If we are stubborn enough to pout and doubt that tremendous wonders will be worked through Trump’s weakness and brokenness, than what are you saying for me? What about my weakness? How can I ever hope to be a good mother, wife, sister…fully knowing my own baggage and the weight of my own sins. If every rude thing I ever said was recorded, if all my mistakes were public knowledge, surely no one would think I was capable of any good at all.
I’ve got news for all the grumpy Christians out there who cannot find the silver lining in this administration: none of us are saints. We all have baggage, sins, personality flaws, and annoyances. I’m going out on a limb and guessing Trump isn’t the only person in the room who’s said some pretty mean things before. We are all just a bunch of broken mirrors. And yet, miraculously, through your willingness and my willingness to keep trying, God manages to bring good out of our measly efforts in this adventure.
Deep down this tempest of opinions among Christians boils down to one very real, crucial thing. It is that we all think we have to be perfect. All of us despise our own brokenness and we hate seeing it in others, especially those who are leading us. We look at their ugliness and faults and it scares us, because deep down we doubt how good could ever come out of our own ugliness and sin. We naturally, want to see flawless, perfection, purity, holiness and success.
These feelings are distorted. Yes, we are flawed and broken, but beautiful because of it. We are foolish. We all have sins, sometimes awful ones, yet God still triumphs in us. In our weaknesses, He is made strong!
Some of the most beautiful pottery in the world is broken pottery. In the Japanese art of Mending, Kintsugi, broken dishes and pottery are put back together together with gold, silver or platinum. According to My Modern Met:
“This repair method celebrates the artifact’s unique history by emphasizing the fractures and breaks instead of hiding or disguising them. Kintsugi often makes the repaired piece even more beautiful than the original..”
What was once weak, useless, garbage is transformed into dishes of increased value and beauty. Just like the astounding victories of saints and biblical heroes ahead of us, lighting the path… proving time and time again that as long as you are willing, God can work miracles through any of us. Especially someone who is trying. Even if they are trying for the very first time. Even if they are arrogant and rude. God. Still. Uses. Them. Without hiding or disguising sins, something truly beautiful can come forth.
If you don’t believe that it is possible, then you don’t believe it is possible for yourself. And I’m telling you, it is. So have hope. Have joyful hope!
I take incredible comfort in knowing that the eve of the election was spent with a national vigil of Holy Hours being held. Prayer in front of the Eucharist is so incredibly powerful that I felt nothing but complete trust when the election went to Trump. This was all in the Lord’s hands.
The thought I rely on is this: my kids are watching all of this. My kids need to know that despite their shortcomings, even on the days when they say they are Christian but then they go do some un-Christian thing…that I still believe they will rise to the occasion and keep their word. That no matter how many times they end up in the confessional, God will prevail and work good through them. I refuse to complain or be gloomy in the face of even the tiniest victories for Christianity. I will not teach my kids they are the sum of their failings, but of their efforts to keep trying. Let’s all try to have joyful hope in this administration, for our children’s sake, to teach them the most powerful lesson we all struggle to accept in our darker moments:
God can still work through you. No matter what.
John 1:5 “The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness will not overcome it.”