These are heavy days in America.
The acrimony is escalating, moment by over scrutinized, incendiary moment and chances are it’s sucked you in too. You’ve no doubt succumbed to the surrounding bitterness and allowed your heart to become toxic; poisoned by the false stories of who you believe the enemy to be or who you see as savior.
You’re probably feeling the weight of all the fear and fighting upon your shoulders these days, and it’s left you irritated and tired and sad.
November 8th will surely be a heavy day too.
Very likely on that day, half of you will feel compelled to gloat and the other half to grieve. There will be either total jubilation or complete dread, with either an overreaction.
But I don’t want to talk to you about that day. I want to talk to you about the day after that day—because it matters.
The day after Election Day you’re going to wake up and realize that the sun is still in its usual position in the sky and that you are still in yours there on the ground.
You’ll look around you and see the people you love and the place you know as home and you’ll remember that these things are all still true.
You’ll hear the familiar sounds of voices that are sweet music to you, and you’ll realize that they are the reason to be hopeful.
You’ll see your reflection in the mirror and you’ll realize that you are still you.
The day after Election day you’ll step outside and you’ll walk into the world around you—and you’ll see that you still have freedom:
You still have the freedom to speak and dream and feel and build.
You still have the freedom to choose compassion or contempt for those who are not like you.
You still have the freedom to build a bigger table wherever you gather.
You still have the freedom to be a healer or to inflict injury.
You still have the freedom to speak words that destroy or words that give life.
You still have the freedom to alter the small portion of the planet you happen to be standing on at any given moment.
The day after Election Day you’re still going to be responsible for who you are; for the relationships you nurture, for the way you spend your time and your money, for what you teach your children, for the way you respond to injustice, for the eyes through which you see other people.
You’re going to still fully own you and the choices you make, no matter what happened the night before.
You’ll still have your faith convictions and those things you claim to believe about this life, and the space and time to prove it.
The day after Election Day you’re going to realize without any hyperbole, that you are America, and that your life will either leave it a more or less loving, beautiful, and compassionate place than when you arrived.
That’s not to say that the day before doesn’t matter, or that you should remove yourself from the process and stay silent on the way there. Be present. Be passionate. Say everything you feel called to say, and vote the contents of your heart.
But the greatest mistake you could ever make, is either believing that hope is lost or that salvation is secured simply because of what transpires on Election Day. No human being gives your life meaning or renders it meaningless.
You get to decide that: with your voice, your hands, your words, your breath.
The day after Election Day will be the most important day of your life—because you will get to live it.
Be encouraged today.
Be encouraged on Election Day.
Be greatly encouraged the day after.