I have a love/hate relationship with election years. You may not know this about me (because I refuse to enter political discussions online or in person) but I am intrigued by our government. Most specifically, I can’t get enough of those silly little politicians.
There isn’t a debate I won’t watch (both parties). I read articles and follow up with certain people who are running. I spy on other people’s Facebook debates. To say that I’m an informed voter is a bit of an understatement.
In this election cycle I have my favorite. And, no, I’m not going to tell you who it is. My mama taught me it was something to keep close to the sleeve, your political leanings. But I do have a favorite.
I also, however, have my least favorite. And I mean this candidate falls all the way to the bottom of my list, not just of politicians but of almost everyone. I cannot stand that candidate. My blood boils, hackles raise, teeth grind at any news of this person.
If I knew that person in real life I would do everything I possibly could to avoid him/her.
This morning I was thinking about this unnamed presidential hopeful and realized how close I was to actually hating him/her.
Oh, how it stung to realize that. Doggone it. I am not called to hate. I’m commanded against it.
In fact, I’m supposed to love that person.
Dang it all.
And I’m supposed to pray for that person.
(Kicks at the ground) But I don’t wanna.
And I’m supposed to find a way to bless that person.
(eye roll) Do I have to?
But what about what he/she said about __________________?
What about when he/she did _________________________?
Love. Yup. Love.
Okay. What about the time he/she mocked ____________________?
You know the answer. Love.
Nope. Sorry. No excuses. Just love.
Does that mean I don’t stand up for what’s right? No. But it also doesn’t mean I demonize him/her. Can I call out the wrong he/she does? Absolutely. But I don’t get to debase him/her. Christ does not allow for me to dismiss him/her.
And why not?
Because this person – this human I don’t like and most decidedly do not agree with – was created in the image of the same Father God who created me. Because this person – this human who says hurtful, venomous things – is loved by Christ every bit as much as I am.
I am to love and pray for this person – this human who makes me feel rage I’m not comfortable with – who has a purpose and potential to serve God (whether he/she chooses to or not) just like I do.
And because this person – this human who is near the top of my least favorite list – is beloved of God.
You know what? It doesn’t matter how I feel about him/her or if it’s fair that he/she is afforded love. My job is to pray and love.
And so today I start a routine of praying for this person. Not against this person (like I may or may not have been doing the past six months). And I’m praying that I can come to a place of loving him/her.
This is going to be hard. Somedays it might make me angry.
But I’m going to try my best.