Disclaimer: This is not one more ubiquitous apolitical post. I consider myself fairly engaged in the political process; I have a candidate that I plan on voting for; and I’ll be more than a little disappointed if “my guy” doesn’t win tonight.
This is more personal than many of the “I’m sick of this election stuff” posts. This is more a lament than anything else. Today as I cast my vote, I’m lamenting the friends I’ve lost over the years because of our caustic partisan climate. I know everybody has a different idea about where the 50-yard line is politically, but even many of our attempts at civil dialogue simply end up pushing us further into our own enclaves of like-minded people. Difference of opinion — once considered an indispensable element of American political discourse — is now mistaken for gloves-off, WWF-smackdown, “fightin’ words”, systematically packaged as cable “news”.
Have we lost something in our culture? Undoubtedly.
What I’m lamenting today is what I’ve lost personally.
The sad reality for me is that most of my friends who sit on the opposite side of the aisle have retreated. They’ve pulled out of meaningful interpersonal dialogue about the issues, preferring instead to trumpet their stances on Facebook. I’m lamenting today that I’ve lost these voices in my life, voices that God used in my life to expand my perspective and foster greater open-mindedness. It’s sad, really. I can only hope that the fellowship we’ve forsaken here will be restored to us fully in the coming Kingdom.
This is how we see ourselves.
But I find myself asking: Is this how God sees us?
The answer is no. And the fact that we settle for such limited vision, such fractious endings to life-giving relationships is worth lamenting.