At the risk of adding to the noise and fear, I do feel the need to say a brief word to address the discrepancy of reactions to the election outcome in my news feed. From my friends of color, I hear a lot of anxiety, frustration, and hurt. From most of the white people in my news feed, I hear "God is in control" platitudes. Even if God is sovereign, this does not negate the very real, very damaging consequences of human action. When a person or community is suffering, reminding them that God is in control can effectively dismiss their pain and and truncate their legitimate expressions of grief and anger. When Jesus cried out on the cross because he felt abandoned by God, the Father wasn't like, "Woah, calm down, son. I got this." The Hebrew Bible, too, is filled with expression of lament, anger, and all manner of human responses to calamity--God's sovereignty is never, ever an excuse to ignore the role humans play in re-creating or de-creating the world, and does not negate our responsibility to work toward justice in this world.

I also realize that as a white, Christian woman, whatever the fallout of a Trump presidency is, I will not be affected anywhere near as much as people of color, immigrants, LGBTQ folks, and people of different faiths. Trump's misogyny has affected and will affect women across the spectrum, but this seems "small" compared to the racist sensibilities that Trump's rhetoric stoked this past year. It utterly inappropriate for the white community to tell communities of color to "calm down, God's in control." I realize that many of the folks saying things like this mean well, but if I've learned anything from this past year, it's that good intentions without knowledge can do a lot of damage. I say this as someone who has been ignorant for most of my life about the hardships and discrimination people of color in this country face. I probably can't even begin to know what my ignorance has cost my brothers and sisters of color. 

Over the past year, I've lived in a strange middle space. On the one hand, I hear bewilderment at best and hostility at worst from the white conservative community I grew up in when it comes to issues of racism. On the other hand, I hear my very tired, very legitimately frustrated friends of color exhausted by having always having to justify their narrative/experience to their white sisters and brothers. I understand the bewilderment because I've experienced it--growing up in white skin made my largely oblivious to the experiences of people of color. But since we've lived so long in this blissful ignorance, we must now work that much harder to embrace the folly of wisdom, of awareness. And while we are trying to wake up, we must stop patronizing people of color by dismissing their pain and perspectives with platitudes.

And remember that the Lord's prayer for the "kingdom" is NOT "Your kingdom come to take us away from earth into heaven where your will is done." It is "Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." The Kingdom of God is not an otherworldly hope, but a this-worldly one. Our hope for a future kingdom characterized by God's justice and mercy begins now, in the present. As we look at the injustice in this world, we can hope and long for the day when God's rule (which is, in fact, human rule, cf. Gen. 1-2) will be fully realized. But we cannot us this as an excuse to ignore injustice in the present, to turn a blind eye to the very real affects of human choices. The only way to embrace the future is to lean in to the present.

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