Wednesday, November 2, 2016

“It is not enough to win a war; it is more important to organize the peace.” ― Aristotle

This is going to be a hard week for those of you living where a major election is taking place.  Just remember, as my grandmother (who died at 96) used to say, “No storm lasts forever.”  Another phrase to remember whose origins are probably ancient Persian but no one knows for sure is, “This too shall pass.”   Yes, it will be over in a week or two, but all the people involved, those on your side and those on the other will still be around after it’s a done deal.  Ya’ll need to be working on making peace with both sides so that moving forward is easier.  Some relationships may be damaged beyond repair, but I pray that you will prove to be the bigger person with all those who will feel either triumphant or distressed.  After all big tragedies or bad things happening, Mr. Rogers used to tell all the children watching to always look for the “helpers” those who were working to make things better for the ones who suffered.  I don’t want you to look for them, I want you to “be” them.  Don’t just turn the other cheek, work on calming the situation down.  We’ve been watching this from the perspective of folks living in a third world country and, frankly, we are very concerned about the risk of violence.  We have had neighboring countries where there have been political genocides, aided and abetted by the media, where hundreds of thousands were killed by their neighbors.  We have seen post-election violence in Kenya where tribe fought against tribe and hundreds died.  This should not happen in a country as socially advanced as the United States, and it won’t happen if enough caring, Christian, and kind people work to prevent it.  When I worked in VISTA (volunteers in service to America) back in the sixties, we heard time and time again, “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.”  The United States can be a powerful force for peace, help for the weak and hungry, and a strong ally for those who want a better world—if its citizens work together and are not at each other’s throats.  Whoever you are supporting, the peaceful transition of power is the hallmark of a great nation, so please work to make that so.  Christ wasn’t a psychic.  He truly understood humanity and people’s unkindness toward each other, so His admonitions to kindness, gentleness, and love of enemies came from a heart that knew real love of self means love of others.  That great commandment to do unto others as you would have them do unto you is timeless and still as effective now as it was then.  The hard part is doing it.  Please, please over the next several days, do what you know is right and make peace.  Do not stay part of the problem and become part of the solution.  You can show great love in simple, quiet statements to those with whom you disagree.  Don’t let disagreements turn to hatred.  Be the hands of Christ to calm and heal.  Yes, it will be hard.  Doing what Christ has called us to do is almost never easy, but it is important.  You won’t have to do it alone—Christ will be with you every step of the way.  

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