Here’s why I’m voting for Biden.

“Tolerance is NOT indifference. You might be appalled at the other person, but you’re respectful to them. Humility is NOT that you don’t believe you’re right but that you know the limits of what you can prove and you also know that you’re always going to learn by listening. And patience is NOT saying ‘I’m going to put up with evil’ but what it is saying is I’m not going to be too quick to posit motives and say, ‘you must be an evil person; you must be a hostile person.’

So whoever can muster those kind of virtues, that’s what we need in the public square.” – Tim Keller

God help us be at peace as we enter into election day and as we agonizingly wait for the results, no matter what.

I am pro-life from womb to tomb. Neither major presidential candidate qualifies as pro-life in this way. However, I have seen four years of Trump fostering divisiveness and indecency in this country and promoting a dangerous level of egoism and nationalism that isolates our allies and promotes the belief that Americans are better than everyone else. I believe that to allow Trump four more years of leadership would destroy the moral fibers of our country, as some would argue it already has. Of course, we needn’t be surprised by this. This world is not our home. Still, we are called to hold politicians and other leaders on this earth to standards that reflect the Kingdom of God.

Biden is far from perfect. I despise his pro-abortion policies and will fight them if he takes office. His character, though I would argue is far more Christ-like than Trump’s on the whole, has some glaring weaknesses. However, I’m now going to highlight my reasons for why I voted for him. Why am I sharing publicly? Because I want you to know that voting for Biden is not a vote against Christianity nor is it a vote against the unborn. Real Christians are voting for Biden. Real Christians are voting for Trump. Real Christians are voting third party, or not voting at all.

Here are some of my reasons for voting for Biden.

1. He has proved himself to be a leader who has humility, one of the most important traits for a leader in my opinion. (I recall a terrible law that he voted for that he continues to apologize for now and desires to make amends for)

2. He is a leader with decency. He treats everyone with far more respect than Trump: disabled people, veterans, people of color, LGBTQ+ people, and anyone else on the margins. I believe character of the highest representative of the United States is actually at least as important as policies. John Piper agrees.

3. He is a leader with compassionate policies for those Christians are called to have compassion for (the immigrant, the poor, widows, etc.) See Isaiah 58:6-11.

4. Though I despise his pro-abortion policies, I know that even if Roe v. Wade is overturned, states still have the right to decide the terms of abortion, and so abortion is most effectively fought at the state level. It is also a complicated issue that requires a comprehensive solution. Most importantly, it requires everyday citizens to form real relationships with moms who are considering abortion. It involves not treating them like projects, but like the valuable people that they are. It means advocating for them body, mind, and soul. It means fostering and adopting children. It means helping single moms find childcare and a job with a livable wage. Yes, it means all this and more. On the whole, I believe Biden’s policies actually fight more comprehensively against abortion than Trump’s do. More on this here.

5. He listens to scientists in regards to the coronavirus, climate change, and other matters of global importance.

6. He acknowledges that systemic injustice is a reality in America, and that unity and justice must be fought for, in words and in action.

7. Trump’s second term agenda is kind of pitiful (also notice that eliminating pro-abortion policies does not make the list). Biden’s agenda is well-thought out, strategic, and advocates for the most vulnerable among us, which I value more than even my personal freedom. See Philippians 2:1-11.

I don’t believe that is a comprehensive list of why I’m voting for Biden. Nonetheless, they are some of the major points.

Some of my readers may be voting for Biden for similar reasons. Others may be voting for Trump for a multitude of reasons. Perhaps your conviction is to vote third party, or not to vote at all this year. Regardless, I encourage you to be involved in all of the “major issues” that are addressed in this and every election. Show you care by loving the people that are affected by coronavirus, homelessness, unjust incarceration, police brutality, abortion, discrimination. Lay down your lives for those who believe differently than you. Look for where you agree. Make clear your disagreements, but with passion free from emotional or intellectual assault and pride. Be tolerant, humble, and patient as Keller describes above. It is the only way forward; and only Jesus can provide it to our partisan, divisive human hearts.

Now go vote.

#election2020

Advent Poem 10

I am making an effort this advent to write a poem each day leading up to Christmas. So far I have 3 poems, but hey… it’s something! This one was inspired by a long walk where the clouds were threatening rain for so long and I was just waiting for them to burst.

10 

pregnant precipatory promise

praising, piercing, pushing

bulging, bellowing billows

breaking boughs, bursting beauty

while we wait for weeping

we wear wonder wildly:

wanting

clouds cumulatively crying

carrying cases of

cooling coming

coming

coming

coming

As I See it Now

As I see it now, there are always two ways to tell the truth.

I realized this as I was telling my story for the umpteenth time to a friend yesterday. The telling of my story has changed drastically over the years. Its evolved from some one-celled amoeba to a living, breathing organism. I no longer hold my story by the hands and guide its steps. My story moves of its own accord. It reveals beauty I choose to forget in day-to-day life. It shows me glimpses beyond the veil of this decaying world into a redemption so grand my heart can only now handle infinitesimally small viewings. The kindness of God flows like spirit, guiding my words in such a way that even my feelings are compelled to follow. In the telling, God’s glory and my life feels aligned in honest and raw display. Something of the image of God wakes to life.

It is not something I have manufactured.

It was not always this way.

Bitterness once took the reigns of my story. It is possible it will do so again. And you know what? That bitter tale is just as true as the way I tell my story now. How can that be?

Listen closely.

I’m not talking here of a shift from pessimism to optimism; negativity to positivity; or even bitterness to beauty.

I could tell you my story and point out to you proofs of how now I know God is clearly not kind. I could show you the particularly cruel ways life has handed me exactly what I most feared when I prayed for redemption. I could tell you that God is, above all things, a Master Manipulator who enjoys playing this cosmic game with all of us to see how we react. There is plenty in my story, and probably in yours, to prove this to you. I could encourage all of you like Job’s wife to curse God, live the way you want to live the remainder of your life, and die.

But my narrative unfolds in such a way now that God’s kindness simply spills out. Mercy overflows from a perspective I can’t even comprehend. It’s nonsensical faith. It’s ridiculous hope. The reality of this otherworldly perspective does not take away the grief. The loss and sorrow are as acute as it has ever been.

But this way of truth-telling also refuses to suppress the joy. God’s faithfulness lights candles and I snuff them out and he lights them again and the cycle goes on and on but more and more are lit and eventually I can’t help but notice. Just . . . notice . . . that perhaps . . . there is a little light here after all.

Gently, confidently, God’s kindness whispers:

But wait . . . there’s more.

How long can I wait for redemption to win?

It will never arrive fully; not until the day I die. How can I possibly cope?

By telling my story. By being a living Psalm, crying out to God for help on one hand and shaking my fist at Him with the other. By allowing Spirit to tell the truth of my bitterness or the truth of hope in Christ or the truth of both.

And sometimes, by watching my story remind me of love that defies and defines all my attempts to describe it.