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I Am Aching

On the eve of this election, my heart is aching. I am aching for several reasons.

I am aching because a good friend and I decided about a month or more ago, that we could not have any more political conversations. We have been friends for years and worked closely on boards, committees and the like. We’re still friends, but we discovered how far apart we really are on some hot topics. It changes things. The intensity is like a burn that leaves some scarring. So I am aching. And I am wondering how many other thousands of friends experience this same kind of damaged, stretched, strained cords of friendship. I am aching.

Second, I am aching because emails and postings from some acquaintances show how sharply they disagree with my views. Of course, I have friends who together with me view the issues agreeably and share our amazement at how the others could possibly not. The differences are not only sharp, but rather, nearly apocalyptic. The end is near, and down this road or that road is the abyss. Anyone who sees it differently must be either an enemy, a fool, or reprobate. This atmosphere has been whipped and fed by certain leaders, some on both sides who have sharp tongues. How I wish for the steady tones that might call us toward healing for our nation, healing from the strain for power and the ragged, rugged battles of words and threats.

Third, I am aching because our country as a whole seems to be experiencing the same kind of anxious tension, that feeling that we’re in a life and death struggle. That every soldier must get on the line, make the call, get out the vote because the opposite result will be something near doom. There are voices of calm here and there that try to remind us that this is not so, and our nation has had vigorous contests before. And I think I have written or spoken such words myself. But the damage to trust between citizens is still to be weighed. What happens after the election will be important. So I am aching for peace in our nation.

Finally, I am aching for a spiritual peace within me. That kind of peace that comes from settling my mind on Jesus, on his Kingship, his sovereignty, his presence here and now. I know he has won that towering majesty only by his suffering, his emptying himself. On this day I want to empty myself of self, empty myself of vengeful vanity, empty myself of selfishness, empty myself of fear. Because I want to be a faithful, not fearful follower of that Jesus. And to share that peace.

© 2020 Stanley Hagemeyer

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