A Time to Heal America: Post-Election 2016

Late into the night and into the wee hours of the morning, it rained. The wind blew things around on the patio. I heard the tiny drops beating against the house, the window and seeping into the lawn as the rain wept on and the hours passed.

Late into the night, across the country ballots were counted and the results were displayed for all to see. Humans across America felt everything. Some wept in horror. Others stared in shock. And more breathed a sigh of relief.

This morning when my son was told of the results. He cried. He wept silent tears and covered his face. I asked what was the deal? He told me that Trump wanted to send the Black people back to Africa, kill the Jews and send the Mexicans to Mexico. He said that is his whole family and he doesn’t want them taken away from him. Now, of course, like any sane parent, I wouldn’t tell him any of that and more likely than not none of those rumors are true, but it is what he in his 8 year old mind inferred from sound bites, articles and news pieces…. And it is heartbreaking.

It was an ugly election cycle.
We did not display the beauty of humanity.
We showed every single nasty, dirty part of the human condition. We showed what happens and who we become when we are not nice.
We brokered in fear, mistrust, chaos, idolatry and deep soul exhausting darkness. We showed what lies under our skin and sometimes it was not pretty.

People voted.
People let their voices be heard.
People let their hearts, fears and desires be seen and Heaven help us what it showed.
We scared the children because so many of the adults are afraid….
Afraid of what is to come, afraid of what awaits their children, afraid of what America actually is and what we have become.
Whispers of despair, false pretenses of progress and the real face of bigotry came to surface and are dancing on the water.
All the distractions in the world cannot hide the face that America has cracked under pressure. We learned late night that the fabric of America is fundamentally broken…. but she can heal.

What can we do?
What can we say?
How can we understand?
Can we all still be friends?
How can we heal?
How do we grow?
How do we move forward?

One act at a time.
One kind word at time.
One neighborly act.

It doesn’t start at the top. It starts at the bottom. It starts with us.
It starts with the parents that teach their kid to care, to be a part of a community, to love on their neighbors.

It starts when you choose love over hate.
It starts when you pay it forward.
It starts when you stand up and say, “Not today, not here. Not now. Not this America.”

We can do better.
We have to do better.
We make a difference each time you do.
We recreate, rebuild and strengthen America each time we do.

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