I remember well coming home from the hospital with our son Mason. We had been told he might have Down syndrome, but we were waiting for the blood test results to confirm the Doctor’s suspicions. What I had expected for my third child’s life was in question and I was struggling with all of the possibilities that were before us.
My parents had come to help care for us as we adjusted to a new baby, and I didn’t need to cook or clean. Yet, I desperately wanted to be in the kitchen. I remember saying to my family a couple of days after we got home, “I just want to do something normal. Can I please make dinner?” They obliged and so I scrambled some eggs and mixed up biscuits.
In the midst of unsettling circumstances, when things were completely out of my control and I didn’t like what was taking place in my life, I longed for some sense of normalcy, something to do that would make me feel like nothing had changed.
Yesterday as I watched people walking to our neighborhood school to vote, saw people’s pictures on social media, and read the latest predictions of the election, I found myself feeling that same sense of longing for normalcy.
So, I hunkered down in the kitchen. I made bread and soup. I engaged with my children. We read books and played in the backyard. I gave them baths and then tucked them into their beds. Bradley and I sat in the den eating ice cream. While our nation was sorting out its next leader, we were living a very normal day.
As I think through the emotions that we’re feeling today, I can’t help but wonder if you might be thinking, “Now what?” Because no matter where you stand politically, there is an emotional response in your heart after what took place last night. And even if the election hasn’t affected you, we all face the daily realities that come from living in an imperfect world.
How do you live when you don’t like what’s happening or when you can’t make sense of where God has placed you?
The prophet Daniel sets a good example for us. He had lived as an exile in Babylon for most of his life. He had risen to a position of authority and was respected among the leadership of the land. He was wise and could interpret dreams and visions for the King. He was fully engaged in the land and yet his trust was in the Living God.
He had a dream, a vision about a ram and a goat that was horrible and laid out events that would affect God’s people in a powerful and horrendous way. Daniel tried to understand what all of these things meant and the angel Gabriel was sent to help him make sense of it all. After an explanation was given to him, Scripture says:
I, Daniel, was overcome and lay sick for some days. Then I rose and went about the king’s business, but I was appalled by the vision and did not understand it. — Daniel 8:27
In the midst of feeling great emotional disturbance, unrest, and knowing that unsettling times were coming, Daniel took a simple step of action.
He went about his normal life.
How do we live in the midst of unsettling times, when we might not like what’s happening around us? We do the next normal thing.
We make soup and bake bread. We pack our kids’ lunches and drop them off at school. We engage with our neighbors and friends. We extend love to those with whom we differ. We show up at our jobs and work hard. We look for ways to make a difference in our cities, not because we have a political cause to fight for but because we have a message of hope to share.
Nothing changed about our identity in Christ because of what happened last night. If we are in Christ we are children of the Most High King and we have just as much purpose and hope as we did yesterday.
Let’s be about the King’s business.
Let’s walk in love and humility, clothed with gentleness and compassion. Let’s be a people who see our greater responsibility of living and moving in this world with intention and purpose, to make the name of Jesus great.