On Tuesday night my wife tried to go to her caucus but got turned away by the long line while she was a mile away. This got me to thinking about how strongly many of us feel and think about this Presidential election.
I believe our faith perspective should indeed inform our political positions and actions. How can they not? I also believe we can have different positions and still be faithful to Christ and to each other in community.
This leads me to the thought of how it is that in the last several years some of my best relationships are with people who are not like me and a few who think very differently than I do. There is this guy who works and lives in Nashville; he is as deliberate and introverted as I am reactive and extroverted. And yet, not but, AND YET… we have forged a friendship in the last several years that I value very much. It helps that he rides a bike, but sometimes he is so deliberate on the uptake that it drives me nuts.
There is another guy whom I’m a little more like, but he reads the Bible a bit differently than I do. We have grown to respect each other, at least I very much respect how he is living out his faith. We talk about once a week, and I can’t speak for him here but I look forward to our chats, even when they are ones where we are disagreeing. We often find common ground, if nothing else in our respect for one another. When we take the time to talk things through, we have what I experience as the presence of the Holy Spirit binding us together, not so much in our opinions, but in our love of Christ and the desire to share that love with others.
This second friend and I were chatting on line about how it is people who are different can still find a way to be in community together. He wrote, “My favorite story lately was the friendship between Justices Scalia and Ginsberg, even vacationing together. Two who were absolutely political opposites but able to see past their opinions and find true friendship.” I could not have made my point any better.
If Justices of the Supreme Court can both disagree and be friends in community….. it’s important for us to remember this as we enter this intense time in our culture, when so many of us feel so passionately about some very important issues of our lives. This doesn’t mean that we should lower the threshold of our passion for a particular issue, but that we should raise the bar when it comes to understanding each other’s heart.