It’s been ten weeks since election day and I desperately hoped something would have happened before Inauguration Day to reassure me.
Yeah, not so much.
Even before the talk of guns and grizzly bears surfaced in our halls of power, the constant stream of petulant, gloating, middle-school-worthy Tweets would have been enough. My millennial daughter with a degree in communications is perpetually flummoxed by the fact our President-Elect still seems to have unfettered access to his Twitter account. While I do love the word flummoxed, horrified is a more apt descriptor for my reaction.
So now what?
As a follower of Jesus, how do I reconcile my responsibility to pray for and respect our leaders on this Inauguration Day with the call to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with my God?
What part does the faith I claim to hold so dearly play in the ways I choose to react to this division in our country and the fears so many of us have about our future under this new administration?
Simply put, in light of our current circumstances, who is God calling me to BE and what is God calling me to DO?
Yesterday during my morning devotion, I read the familiar verse in Hebrews about living a life of faith:
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1
As I pondered these familiar words, I dug deeper by reading the Amplified translation on my handy Bible Gateway app. There I found this powerful definition of the word faith:
Faith, which is an inherent trust and enduring confidence in the power, wisdom and goodness of God…
I sat with those words for quite a while and asked myself in the quiet of my own heart if I truly, honestly-with no one else looking- have an inherent trust and enduring confidence in the power, wisdom and goodness of God?
Ultimately, the answer is yes.
At my core, I am indeed a person who has an inherent trust and enduring confidence in the power, wisdom and goodness of God.
I believe God is still in control. I believe God still has the answers. I believe God still loves us completely.
God can. God knows. God cares.
BUT that is only the first verse of the 11th chapter of Hebrews. This chapter has 39 more verses.
The rest of the chapter calls us to remember the “faith in action” Hall of Fame.
One after another, BY FAITH, the heroes of our bible stories made history, righted wrongs, and conquered evil. Their faith in a powerful, wise and good God made them brave and they showed up in ways that made a difference.
33By faith these people overthrew kingdoms, ruled with justice, and received what God had promised them. They shut the mouths of lions,34 quenched the flames of fire, and escaped death by the edge of the sword. Their weakness was turned to strength. They became strong in battle and put whole armies to flight. 35 Women received their loved ones back again from death. Hebrews 11:33-35
By faith, their weakness was turned to strength. By faith, they got involved. By faith, they took a stand. By faith, they fought the battles that needed fighting. By faith, they marched around the city and walls came down.
Not one of the stories mentioned the people of faith sitting on their butts saying “It’s ok. God is in control. We don’t have to do anything except have faith.”
By contrast, this chapter of Hebrews reminds us it is our FAITH that spurs us to ACTION.
I’ve given you a link to three different translations of Hebrews 11 so go back and read it if you don’t believe me. In fact, read one of them even if you do believe me because there is so much good stuff here and time in scripture is never wasted.
So yes, I have faith and yes, I am praying for our leaders. My concerns do not equate with a lack of faith in God’s presence, power, wisdom or goodness.
But faith without action is dead, so I will also show up and hold them accountable.
I will speak truth in love repeatedly.
I will fight for and love vulnerable people in tangible ways.
I will do the work to protect ALL of our children.
I will, like my friend Chris above, make art that moves people to feel and to think.
I will ask God to show me my part, my work, my contribution.
I will pray with my heart and my spirit, but I will also pray with my hands, my feet, my voice and my vote.
And on Saturday, I will drive to D.C. with my praying sisters. I will march down the city streets of power, join hands with new friends from all over the country, and I will pray for the walls of hate to come tumbling down. #WhyIMarch #LoveArmy