This morning, the sun rose.
A shadow fell against the wall, and we leapt, only to find it was our own.
A final leaf clung to the mortal life of a scarred and limping bough. Tonight, it is still there, clinging.
Somewhere in the East, many-columned charts saw their zipping red lines tick downward, but they did not crash. All grief’s tears—heartfelt, slow-falling, amazingly human—dripped into pools of international mourning, but the people woke, went to work, drove cars, kept living.
We press on. We stay woke. We unravel all the burdens of our souls and remember today is but a day, men are but men, and empires too were not meant to last forever.
It’s the first day of a new, darker, more fearful world.
But, never forget, God’s mercies are new every morning.
Help yourself to all the assurances that are ours. Reconcile. Recommit. Resist evil. Forgive. Stay the course. Bear each other up. And hereby resolve all your bravest resolutions.
Today we are going to be encouraging; we are going to love harder than we have ever loved before; we are going to want the best for people, root for them, help them be better, believe the best about them; we are going to be hopeful—somehow.
It is a great comfort to know, now and always, that there never was a moment when God was not sovereign. And yet, let that never be an excuse. Let that never be our collective meh.
God is sovereign and he wants us to do so much good to and for and with one another. It’s in wicked days that righteousness bears out most vivid. It’s from canyons that mountain peaks are most impressive. It’s in the darkness that light can shine more brightly than a pulsing star.
Saying “God is sovereign” is not a time to shrug our shoulders; it’s time to act more powerfully than ever. It’s time to reveal again the eternal kingdom in the temporal empire.
Our hope is not in chariots or presidents. It would not have been in any outcome.
Our hope is in God above, who partners with us to love neighbors and enemies here below. That work has never been clearer than it is today. We would not have picked this way to learn the lesson—it was picked for us—but now we have the great opportunity to be alive. To live differently, to love unbelievably, to be unafraid of lies and monsters.
We will need each other now—the “winners” and the “losers.” We always did. It takes too great a peril to realize it again. But realize it we must.
To this point, we have not understood each other. We have not believed each other. We have not listened to each other. All that now has the stinging, beautiful chance to change. It can. It must.
Take comfort in the brevity of the reign of kings and the awesome potential of a free press and a system rooted in checking and balancing. Find solace in the popular vote, in the vows to do better, in each other.
But above everything know that all your assurances are in Christ, who is not subject to votes or offices or popular opinion, who loved you when you were beyond loving, who died for you, who defends you and empowers you in life and in death.
For my part, my primary emotion has not been anger or shock—it’s sadness.
This morning I drove a family of Arab refugees through Chicago. The family is a mother and a father and three young boys. The father wants to drive a truck. The mother wants a home that is clean and warm. The boys want to go to school. There is nothing frightening or threatening about them, despite what all the ballots said. And I did not know what to tell them.
I was sad at the cold and immediate future they face. I was sad that many like them will not have the chance to see these shores because they are deemed unsafe and irredeemable. I was sad that so many in my nation said loudly that it did not want them.
But I will not be so sad anymore. I will be enormously hopeful because I know the gospel of Christ, the stirring power of faith, hope, and love, and I want to live that out for them and with them.
I will be hopeful because hope is most necessary in the valley of hopelessness.
Not a fake hope, not a forced hope, not a fleeting hope. But a massive, empowering, inescapable hope that says nothing can stop us.
I will be hopeful because no matter what happens on television screens or behind podiums, something greater can and will happen in the hearts of people.
I will be hopeful because mountains will move, because our blindness has been revealed, because the Healer is at the ready.
Now is the time to be hopeful, not because of the reality we see, but because of the reality that can be built. Now is the time to be hopeful because we are still here and the Truth is still true. Now is the time to hopeful because we can be.
Hope a wild hope. The sort we have not seen. Live in it. Love in it.
And watch the sunrise.