"Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good" Romans 12:21. There is much chatter on the news and social media about the hatred unleashed by our recent presidential elections, with the inevitable note that people are afraid. Maybe we should be; the future is always somewhat unpredictable, and the election certainly jerked us in a new direction that leaves the old familiar patterns in the dust. Our president-elect has no political track record, but leaves a broad trail behind him in the business and social world. People don't like what they see, but they haven't liked what they've seen of his opponent, either, which is a big reason why he won.
There is the usual fallout from a bitterly contested election, with recriminations and accusations flying around like flocks of starlings. St. Paul's words to the Roman Christians are surprisingly apropos for today. The evils we see, no matter what the lens we look through, will not be overcome by a different brand of evil. The political and social fires that burn across our nation will not be extinguished by lighting new fires. Evil is not the opposite of good, but the perversion of it, and the only way to overcome it is to deal with the perversion, the twisting of that which was good. It is deliberate and delicate work, not for the faint of heart.
I would suggest that the first order of business would be to actually try to listen to one another, which is hard to do when you see the other as a complete idiot for holding to his/her position, and harder still when the one who sees things differently than you refuses to talk, unfriends you on Facebook, or demands that you not only listen, but that you also agree with him/her or be branded a bigot, homophobe, racist, or elitist snob.
I am grateful tonight for friends on both sides of the political spectrum, and for the common faith that often is the only thing that binds us together. I am grateful that some of the heat of this election may eventually give way to light. It may not, but I live in hope.