I don't know how much sleep I've lost, I don't know how much productivity has been lost, I don't know how much stress has entered my body and not left it because of the 2016 election. But I know my answers to those situations would equal a number too high.
Like most people I too am worried about what will happen on Nov. 9th forward.
As a pastor I have been searching the scriptures trying to find a story that resonates with our current situation. And I think I have found one. King Eglon.
King Eglon was the Jabba the Hutt of biblical times (in the book of Judges). The Israelite spy, Ehud, stabbed and killed King Eglon. The bible only records King Eglon's death, it doesn't say what happened next. But imagine the mess from his death; someone had to clean it up. And that mess is the metaphor for today: lack of civility, the degrading language and action toward minorities and women, lack of empathy, lack of an aspirational movement. And someone needs to clean up this mess.
So who will clean this mess up?
I think faith communities will be the ones most responsible for cleaning this mess up. We are the communities (but not solely) who have in our lexicon the words of forgiveness, reconciliation, and transformation. So how do we exercise these words for the good of the whole? I am not sure just yet.
Trump supporters expressed a real pain that Democrats need to acknowledge. Democrats expressed issues that Republicans need to acknowledge.
How is it that the party of working people is now the party of mainly the college educated? How is it that a party that lifts up tax cuts (when we all need tax revenue for good schools, affordable health care, working infrastructure, & etc) is now the party of the working class? Such reversals that I cannot quite figure out. I don't put all my faith in politics and policies but they are reflections of the commitments we have as a society. And there is a need for issues to be raised: the environment, the poor, justice and environmental and societal integrity for Native Americans, peace to name just a few.
I'd rather be a prophet, I'd rather be a pastor, I'd rather be a writer, but it looks like I (and you) will be one of King Eglon's attendants cleaning up the mess.
so you know what I'm talking about...Judges 3:12-26
And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the Lord: and the Lord strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done evil in the sight of the Lord.
And he gathered unto him the children of Ammon and Amalek, and went and smote Israel, and possessed the city of palm trees.
So the children of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years.
But when the children of Israel cried unto the Lord, the Lord raised them up a deliverer, Ehud the son of Gera, a Benjamite, a man lefthanded: and by him the children of Israel sent a present unto Eglon the king of Moab.
But Ehud made him a dagger which had two edges, of a cubit length; and he did gird it under his raiment upon his right thigh.
And he brought the present unto Eglon king of Moab: and Eglon was a very fat man.
And when he had made an end to offer the present, he sent away the people that bare the present.
But he himself turned again from the quarries that were by Gilgal, and said, I have a secret errand unto thee, O king: who said, Keep silence. And all that stood by him went out from him.
And Ehud came unto him; and he was sitting in a summer parlour, which he had for himself alone. And Ehud said, I have a message from God unto thee. And he arose out of his seat.
And Ehud put forth his left hand, and took the dagger from his right thigh, and thrust it into his belly:
And the haft also went in after the blade; and the fat closed upon the blade, so that he could not draw the dagger out of his belly; and the dirt came out.
Then Ehud went forth through the porch, and shut the doors of the parlour upon him, and locked them.
When he was gone out, his servants came; and when they saw that, behold, the doors of the parlour were locked, they said, Surely he covereth his feet in his summer chamber.
And they tarried till they were ashamed: and, behold, he opened not the doors of the parlour; therefore they took a key, and opened them: and, behold, their lord was fallen down dead on the earth.
And Ehud escaped while they tarried, and passed beyond the quarries, and escaped unto Seirath.