Recently, I read of a group of people who planned to be in Washington DC on inauguration day to pray for the incoming president. I couldn’t help but ask myself exactly what it was they would be praying for: His safety, given his divisive rhetoric? His heart, given his plans regarding human rights? His intellect, given his ignorance of the office he would hold and the many policies he would influence? His soul, given his inability to display modesty or gratitude for his situation?
What would these well-meaning individuals have asked God to do on that fateful day in history? To change a man into someone he is not? To step in and provide some Divine intervention that would save his soul and perhaps also the world as we know it? Many may believe that God chose this man to be our next president and therefore, God most certainly would not leave us in harm’s way.
I, myself, am not a religious person. However, I am a reflective person and as I reflect on the past year I’m reminded of a story about a man who’s house was consumed by a flood. The short version of the story is that the man sat on his rooftop and prayed for God to save him. He prayed as a friend came by in a canoe, a policeman came by in a boat, and a rescue helicopter flew overhead, all offering the man a ride to safety. He prayed and prayed as the flood waters rose until eventually, he drowned. When the man reached the pearly gates, he asked why God had deserted him. He was faithful in his prayer and steadfast in his belief that God would never forsake him. God shook her head and said, “I did not forsake you. I sent a canoe, a boat, and a helicopter. You refused all three.”
If one is to believe that God sent us this president, aren’t we also to believe that she sent the other 19 primary candidates from which to choose? The Bible is filled with stories where believers were tested. Perhaps the story of the 2016 US Presidential election is a modern day story of such a test. I imagine God might have thought this was an easy one for us to pass. After all, she had provided a book with lessons and rules as a guide.
“I’ll give them 17 candidates on one side, a few of them will be so extreme that they can eliminate them right off the bat, but I’ll leave one or two reasonable choices. Then on the other side, I’ll give them a flawed but qualified woman and a jewish guy who’s fighting for all that my son was sent to teach.”
I imagine as the primaries progressed, God may have started to feel a bit concerned and by the time the GOP debates took place, God was most likely losing faith. Childish insults, rude behavior, false statements, shouting. At one point, in an effort to get attention, one candidate was heard to say, “Can someone attack me please ?” God watched as we officially entered the land of the absurd. Week after week she upped her game but it didn’t work. The more obscene the situation, the more popular the candidate.
The situation wasn’t much better on the DEM side. The choice for the Left was between a kickass woman who refused to play nice and a fatherly old man who fought to feed the poor and tax the rich. I’m certain God felt confident that we could get that one right. Checking in on things daily, she would see massive crowds of people supporting the jewish socialist as he spoke of income equality, human rights, worker’s rights, peace, love, and protecting Mother Earth. I imagine God felt little concern for the outcome of the DEM primaries but just to be safe, she sent that little bird to sit on the podium to seal the deal. #BossMove
Then the primary results began to come in. It was most likely at this time that God started to regret the whole “free will” thing. Realizing what she had to work with in the general election, God stepped up her game yet again. Providing opportunity after opportunity to showcase the difference between the two candidates: hateful rhetoric, Islamophobia, misogyny, mockery, adultery, conceit. Audio and video evidence was released to help us separate real facts from “alternative facts.” At one point, I imagine God shaking her head and considering a googleAd:
7 DEADLY SINS - FREE & EASY ACCESS www.DonaldTrump.wth Pride. Envy. Wrath. Gluttony. Lust. Sloth. Greed.
And then we voted…
At this point, I imagine God cried. And then, like most of us, she took a few days to grieve and collect herself.
What must she be thinking now? I imagine there’s a part of her, like any parent when their child makes a poor choice, that would like to say, “Don’t ask me to fix this. I did my best to guide you toward the path of righteousness but you chose to go a different way. Now you can live with the consequences of your decisions.”
But she won’t.
She’ll listen to every voice and feel the heaviness of every heart. She will inhale a deep breath of compassion and exhale love all over the universe. With unconditional love, God will forgive our arrogance, forget our shameful selfishness, and provide us the opportunity to come together and heal the divisions we allowed to separate us from each other, but she won’t do it for us.
God has provided each of us with everything we need to fix this mess ourselves. We are, after all, each created in God’s own image, each of us a spark of the Divine energy of the Universe blessed with the gift to show love and compassion, but we must wake up and be responsible citizens, not only of this country but of the universe we inhabit. We cannot sit on the rooftop of our ideals praying to God for evidence of why we are right and others are wrong. No, we must take action or we will all soon drown.