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The day after the election

First slide

My soul feels cluttered.

By the time you read this I can safely write, “Yesterday was Election Day.” Of course, I have no idea how that all turned out. I don’t even know if we know yet how that all turned out. I remember being very pregnant on Election Day 2000 and wondering in the subsequent days if my Christmas baby would be born before we knew whom the new president was. So, I’m not saying it’s all over just because it’s Nov. 9. I’m just fairly sure that the election itself is safely behind us.

"I want to have the wisdom to know that my neighbor is my compatriot, no matter how she voted. Further, my neighbor is to be loved, genuinely and without reservation."

And my soul feels like a jumbled mess. So much input all the time has bombarded my inner self so that it’s mushy pulp. For months, it seems, all sorts of media have provided a steady barrage of information. Some of it was news. Most of it has long dissolved into dissonant noise. 

Today, will there be quiet? I dearly hope so. 

Today, will there be stillness of soul? I aim to make it so. 

In the days before Election Day, so much noise rose to a crescendo, yet I was barely aware as the intensity built. I took in information at every turn, but rarely did I let anything go. I’m left with a ringing in my ears and throbbing behind my eyes, the result of a constant blur of tweets and Facebook posts, newscasts, and radio ads (No radio shows, thank you. I know better than to subject myself to those.). 

Today, I want only to create space. I want to free up brain space and emotional energy, to let go of election angst and to begin to see the world anew. Whatever the result, it is what it is. Whatever the result, I was bought with a price and so I live in freedom. I want to move forward today under the power of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

I want to have the wisdom to know that my neighbor is my compatriot, no matter how she voted. Further, my neighbor is to be loved, genuinely and without reservation. I want to be wise enough to love without fear of what the future holds. 

I want to have right judgment, to clear my head of competing voices and to incline my ear to the voice of the Lord. My soul will lose its clutter when it fills with Him.

I want to have the fortitude to meet people where they are without bringing a complicated agenda to the meeting. 

I love to learn, but my knowledge sources for these next few weeks will be voices of old. I want to back away from “reading” on my phone or my computer and, instead, to dig deep and read long in a book, preferably a classic. Shaking off the hangover that a glut of always updating information has left, I resolve to follow a train of thought for much longer than 40 characters or 300, 500, or even 1,000 words. My brain is longing for a meaty novel where good triumphs over evil and the reader is clear about who is good and who is evil.

As I sweep away the clutter of the election, I kneel. There in my living room, away from pundits and proclamations, I bow humbled before the true King. This world is passing. Daily, I grow closer to the day I meet my Lord. As big and life-changing and earth shattering as these past days have been heralded to be, they, too, pale in the light of the day I die. How then, shall I live, in order to die in His friendship? God, grant me the piety to know you are Lord and Ruler. 

Today, the same as yesterday, the same as tomorrow, I stand in awe and wonder of the Lord. The world outside my door is aflame with glorious color and light. God is in His heaven. He is perfect goodness, perfect power and perfect love. It’s a good day to go for a long walk, to breathe deep of His glory and to exhale into uncluttered peace.

Foss, whose website is elizabethfoss.com, is a freelance writer from Northern Virginia.


© Arlington Catholic Herald 2016