Now that I (and everyone else) has had a day to process, to talk, to grieve, I find myself thinking about what it means to be living as a citizen of the Kingdom of God while also a citizen of the United States of America.
As a citizen of the United States of America, I am committed to certain principles and ideals. I am committed to the election process and to the peaceful transfer of power. Even when I don’t like or want the candidate who is chosen, or perhaps especially then, I respect the process and the tradition of peaceful transfer of power. I am committed to the idea of the “will of the people”, even when I fundamentally disagree with that collective will. I am committed to free speech, to equitable opportunities within the confines of the system, and to the basic protections of the constitution.
As a citizen of the Kingdom of God, I am committed to certain principles and ideals also. In many cases, those ideals overlap with the ideals of the United States of America. Sometimes, they do not. I am committed to the principles of taking care of the poor, the outcast, the widow, the orphan. I am committed to being hospitable to strangers, to providing care for the sick, to binding up the broken hearted and setting the captive free. Right now, some of those ideals are in conflict with the rhetoric in the United States. We shall see what comes with reality. Our constitution and system of government have checks and balances in place to ensure that certain lines cannot be crossed.
In the meantime, I am reminded of Ezekiel 22:30 “I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one.” A gap in a city’s wall was an opening that an enemy created in order to enter the city and destroy those within the walls. The only way to prevent the enemy from entering the city through the breach was for a warrior to put his life on the line and literally stand in the wall’s opening and fight back the enemy. That warrior had to be committed to standing ALONE, by himself, to protect his city. There are gaps in our current rhetoric. They may become gaps in our actions, our laws and certainly our values. My response needs to be to “stand in the gap” and protect those who need protection.