In the past, we’ve settled for soundbites and party lines, but now it’s time to push for truth and honesty. In pursuit of authentic candidates, it’s often easy to run towards leaders who are brash in their honesty and at times even harmful, not always because we agree but because it’s refreshing to hear words that weren’t curated by political machines. We crave words that are one’s own.
As we reflect on what it looks like for beauty to come from ashes, I cannot imagine a better example. Although I feel certain that no one would have chosen this history for South Africa, the country has been a source of hope for the rest of the continent, as well as the world, because they chose the path of restorative justice based on truth and reconciliation.
We have come to believe that only one side can win the battle for the mantle of equality, liberty, or justice. It’s a perverse understanding of holiness: “If I can paint myself as a white knight while casting my opponent as the antithesis of everything I stand for, my side will win.” No mind for whether my political opponent actually opposes my values. She must appear to oppose them.
My hope is that in our work in politics, we will all be drawn to live greater lives, and walk away from the shallow stories of personal power and ideals that drive us to exclude half the country from our visions of a perfected America. As we tire of the silliness of the usual political constructs, we can draw inspiration from William Wilberforce.
Could it be possible that prayer and fasting were employed not because we were in a great fight against evil and needed deliverance, but because it was the most expedient way to agitate the populace towards revolution? I don’t think the end result of prayer can ever be anxiety, but rather a deeper knowledge of what we can do to bring restoration to the world.
“For 467 days during 1948 and 1949, the City of Berlin was kept alive by an Airbridge of Allied Aircraft bringing food and other essentials from the West.”
If beauty will truly rise from the ashes of dysfunctional, fearful, and angry politics, we’re going to need inspiration from great stories and even greater generations.