Last night, I woke in the middle of the night with a wave of anxiety about the results of this election. It felt strange (although perhaps normal) to have this anxiety come on stronger than at any other point in the past months, so near the end. We had gone to bed without hearing the results and fear seemed to strike my heart for the unknown of the future, in those late hours as I lay in the dark.
But I began to pray and ask Jesus for help to trust him, regardless of how things may feel or look.
I asked for his help in our country.
I asked for his help to change human hearts towards loving mercy and acting out justice.
I asked for his will to be done.
I asked for help to know what is mine to do; what it looks like for me to do justly and love mercy.
I find that so often in our fear and good intentions for the things that matter to us, we forget what is only ours. As I voted yesterday, I thought about what is only mine. I’m only responsible for me. I’m responsible for the choice to vote or not, and who I vote for. I’m responsible for how I live, in the seen and unseen.
Facebook can make it feel like we answer to each other, or even that we answer to ourselves. But the truth is that the Lord is the one who judges us. The Lord is the one we answer to.
Today, as some celebrate and some grieve, I’m remembering these words of Mother Teresa, that remind my heart about what is only mine.
“Stay where you are. Find your own Calcutta. Find the sick, the suffering and the lonely right where you are – in your own homes and in your families, in your workplaces and in your schools.”
I care deeply about what happens in our country. I care deeply about the leaders that are elected and the implications of their decisions on us, my children, my grandchildren. I care deeply about those whose voice isn’t heard. I care deeply about mercy and justice, for the poor, for the immigrants and refugees, for the children, for the orphans and widows, for the oppressed, for all people.
But I know these are only words. And we are called to more than words.
I think of Jesus’ story of the two sons. One son said he was happy to do what his father wanted, but never acted. The other son was he wouldn’t do as his father wanted, but changed his mind and did what the father wanted. Jesus asks the obvious question of who actually did what the father wanted.
God’s love language is not words alone. We can talk all we want but at the end of the day, we will also be judged by what we did.
Today, I’m asking Jesus to help my words match my actions.
I’m asking him to help me stay where he has put me, to show me what is my Calcutta.
I’m asking him to help me love those that are mine to love.
I’m asking him to help me to pray instead of worry or blame or live in fear.
I’m asking him to make me brave and kind, humble and sincere.
I’m asking him to help my heart remember that he is my judge, not others or even my own heart.
May this truth prompt us towards faithfulness in our words and actions, remembering that we answer to Jesus alone.
*This post contains affiliate links.