Well thank God that election cycle is over! For whatever reason, it seems that it gets uglier and uglier as time goes on in my life, leaving more disillusioned and disinterested in the whole process, wondering if change can ever come about. I wholeheartedly believe, again, for whatever reason, when it comes to politics and religion, so many tend to try to push us towards the extremes in both. All too often the two, religion and politics, have even become more and more intertwined, so often feeding on our weakness rather than finding ways to build the Kingdom and seek conversion as we are commanded to do as Christians. Politics, if we are honest with ourselves, tends to dictate our morality much more than religion, again, so often feeding off of one another, leaving us bitter, resentful, and quite frankly, judgmental of the other.
I am convinced, though, in light of my own insanity that I call life, that I really am more purple than I am red or blue, and I thank God everyday for that. All too often we have allowed the extremes within ourselves to react to one another and against one another, demonizing the other and having total disregard for what seems and I perceive as the complete opposite of what I believe. Let’s be honest, it’s easy for all of us to get caught up the craziness of it all. We want our candidates to win, deep down, because that’s the party we associate with, at times, even when they’re not the best candidate. We even believe some of the negative ads that are presented to us about the other candidate; unfortunately, allowing that to linger beyond election night, blinding us to the possibility that maybe this woman or man are the more qualified and have good intentions, at least at the moment of entry into office.
But when all is said and done, who wins, wins and that’s the way it is, whether we like it or not. I do believe, for all intensive purposes, my life won’t change a great deal by who wins or loses. I don’t like gridlock, incompetence, and being easily bought by lobbyists and money. There are real problems within the system, both politics and religion. All I hope for, now that it’s over, for at least a few days, is that we can move somewhere to the middle and learn to build bridges rather than walls. Yeah, I know it’s a bit cliche, but it has become the truth and the lived reality of these larger than life systems that we are a part of and yet distance ourselves from because we don’t want to admit that it’s me and you. We like to win and we are quite content watching the other lose.
But at this moment, the day after and the dust begins to settle, people begin to lick their wounds, strategy begins to talked about, how will all this work with new people, and all the rest that the pundits want to tell us about, I’m just hoping for one thing, and that’s for a little more purple in our lives. No, not the Baltimore Ravens purple, but the purple that comes from reconciliation. The purple that comes from building bridges between blues and reds. The purple that comes from communication and putting aside egos. The purple that comes from standing up and being honest with ourselves and people, even if it doesn’t sell papers. The purple that comes from not selling out for money and selfish interests but rather seeking the common good. The purple that comes from respecting the dignity of all people, even those that think differently or wear the opposing color and not be quick to judge and demonize. The purple that comes with accepting that at times others and myself will tell you what we think you want to hear to get what we want; seeing myself in the other.
If we can all agree on anything, and where that bridge can begin to be built, is that we’re tired of what we have seen and must begin to learn to trust the unseen and what lies beyond red and blue and see that I’m just as purple as the next and somehow are challenged each day to reconcile the extreme conservative and liberal within myself, making me whole and a much better change getter because it’s not about walls but rather bridges between what we hold onto so tightly, that red and blue within each of us. Somewhere in the middle of me and you, purple is waiting to break free, both in politics and religion.