I’ve been doing some reading about the effects of unforgiveness on the physical body. It has to do with that next novel I’m writing. But while going through reams of scientific research, I got to thinking about this election year.
I was going to write a post about how many of us – me included – need to forgive Donald Trump for being an ass. Not because he’s asking for forgiveness, mind you. Trump has gone on the record saying he never asks for forgiveness because he never does anything he needs forgiving for. (Which begs the question of how Liberty University can continue to throw their collective ignorant weight behind a candidate who outright rejects the teachings of Christ).
And, yes, I might need to forgive Liberty University, too.
Not because they asked for it, mind you, but for my own health, and for the health of the nation. And by health, I don’t mean in the rhetorical sense but in the very real physical way. Researchers say being angry and bitter can constrict blood vessels, increase blood pressure, contribute to heart attacks, stroke, cancer, depression, etc.
Not to mention that it can make a person more nervous than purple cabbage in the garden. (See Where’s Your Jesus Now? for cabbage reference). But speaking of that hidden reference: Where the heck is our Jesus now?
He is not, as some might believe, casting his vote for Mr. Trump.
Jesus doesn’t put his faith in Democracy or the American electorate.
Jesus is not an American.
If Jesus were in this country at all, it would be as an immigrant.
Toss out that tidbit the next time somebody starts calling for a wall along the border.
(My blood pressure is elevating as I write. Somebody send a yoga instructor to my house quickly, please.)
Anyway, like I was saying, I’m worried about us, about our physical health and the toll this election is having on us.
Y’all remember that scene in Donald Miller’s book Blue Like Jazz, where Miller and his buddies ask their peers at Portland’s Reed College to forgive them for all the wrongs waged by Christians throughout history?
I say we borrow that idea and our churches begin to apologize on behalf of our current crop of candidates, particularly the top two. Imagine if pastors across this country asked congregants to forgive Donald Trump for being a racist misogynist and to forgive Hillary Clinton for her lying and conniving ways.
We could change the whole tone of this election, especially if congregants really did forgive Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. (That doesn’t mean we have to vote for either one of them. Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting. We don’t have to forgive something we don’t remember. It’s the stuff we remember that we have to keep practicing forgiveness for.)
I was thinking about writing about all of this, when an awful thought occurred to me: What if Donald Trump asks Sarah Palin to be his VP?
That thought alone about caused me to have the dropsy.
I’m beginning to learn what Paul meant when he urged everybody to pray without ceasing.
This election year none of us can afford to let up on the praying for one minute.
And our prayers don’t need to be about electing the right person.
Our prayers ought to focus on how we are going to go about forgiving each other and healing ourselves and our nation once this election is over.
Karen Spears Zacharias is a registered Independent.