On Nov. 8, I began the morning reading the Word of God and other inspirational writings to help start my day solid. And then I poured out my heart to God, begging for some sign that he is indeed with us, his hand near.
I didn’t pray for a specific result, just that his merciful will would be obvious. I knew that not only the United States, but the world, was counting on this election’s outcome. I begged God to bring relief to the oppressed across the world and in our own country, regardless of how the votes leaned.
Within the next 18 hours, we’d have a president-elect, along with other new local and national government representatives. The whole nation and beyond seemed to be holding its breath in anticipation.
For those who see the dignity in each human person, including the unborn, the last eight years have been an especially long inhale. A break would be so welcomed; I yearned for this.
The sun shone brightly on that remarkably warm November day, and I returned from the polls with a sense of wonder over how the day would play out.
Soon, I noted some early and bold predictions by friends. One had changed her Facebook background to reflect a Clinton win. Another with whom I’d been conversing online assured me that even though we don’t align politically, it would be a great night for her political party.
Though presumptuous, they had every reason to feel confident. By almost all indications, from pundit predictions to polls, their lady had it in the bag; a phenomenon Eternal World Television Network reporter Raymond Arroyo later would call “a willful suspension of reality.”
But in those afternoon hours that Tuesday, I wondered how many others were out there quietly casting votes like mine.
Certainly, Trump had not been an easy sell. It was with consternation that I relented to considering someone as brash as he can be, but at the final hour, I filled out the circle next to his name on the ballot without hesitation.
I’d become convinced by then that I wasn’t voting for one man as much as for the party behind him, as well as to pierce the bubble that had formed around so many of the elitists over the past eight years, leaving many of us silenced in one way or another.
Would the undercurrent I sensed prove real and measurable, or quietly recede like a waning moon?
As the night went on and votes were tallied, I watched wide-eyed as the moon rose higher and higher. And in the wee hours, when the president-elect was finally named, with half of my country near in spirit, I cheered the results.
I don’t see a savior in Trump. But over the past couple weeks, I’ve begun noticing something I’d missed before, and though I still squirm a bit at some of his ways, I now glimpse more of what his earlier supporters did.
I’m still sifting through all of this with everyone else, but one article by a Christian blogger seemed to hit the mark with why Trump earned such a large percentage of the religious vote.
In his piece in LifeSiteNews, “The painfully obvious reason Christians voted for Trump (that liberals just don’t understand),” Jonathon Van Maren writes that overall, Christians voted in self-defense, to “put the brakes on the relentless, eight-year-long assault,” not just on their values, but on being bombarded by radical progressives who seemed intent on forcing newly invented ideology down their throats or hanging “some new ‘phobia’ label around their necks” or making them pay “for medical exterminators to suction tiny human beings into bloody slurry.”
Strong words to be sure, yet at times only direct will do. Certainly, they do express the intensity of restrained frustration many faithful Americans have been experiencing.
We’ve felt it, but have not been able to voice it without repercussion. When we try, we are labeled, as Van Maren said, hateful, even when our hearts desire to bring good. It’s gotten wearying.
With Trump preparing to take office, we hope for a fair hearing; perhaps for the first time in a long while, we might voice our concerns with the expectation that they won’t be flung back at us with clouded contention.
On the morning of the election, I read, from Malachi 3:20: “For you who fear my name, there will arise the sun of justice with its healing rays.” It seems to apply now just as much, for no matter our political persuasion or faith, I think we can all agree that healing is needed.
Lord, let it be.
[For the sake of having a repository for my newspaper columns and articles, I reprint them here, with permission, a week after their run date. The preceding ran in The Forum newspaper on Nov. 19, 2016.]