Winnow – verb (used with object)
– to free (grain) from the lighter particles of chaff, dirt, etc., especially by throwing it into the air and allowing the wind or a forced current of air to blow away impurities.
I’ve been asked a couple times to share my opinion on the current political happenings. With all the hype, drama, chaos, and rhetoric going on within the political realm these days, it seems rather senseless to add yet another opinion. Opinions are, as they say, like armpits. (Everybody has one and most of the time they stink). I hardly think adding yet another one to the mix will be helpful.
Oddly enough, I do feel led to write. But not about my personal thoughts and opinions about the presidency. My personal thoughts on that would probably only serve to inflame the intense fire of hatred, gossip, and strife that’s already tearing apart our country. And while I do most certainly have strong opinions on the topic, I have no desire or intention for more division. Quite the opposite, in fact. And while the truth will always, to some extent, have a divisive effect…my ultimate desire is for unity and for peace.
So I write. I write to express the impressions I feel upon my heart and I write to express what I feel to be a higher calling for our thoughts and feelings than the mayhem and rhetoric of hate and degradation that surrounds us. And I’m willing to write because these ideals should always be held with more value than any passing thought or opinion of any one person.
Proverbs 25:4 says, “Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer.”
One thing that took me off guard with this election was the outpouring of venom and violence that, even still, is being poured out as a response to the results. While at least as many people were just as sorely disappointed by the outcome of the last two elections, the vast majority accepted reality as it was and worked within it – without feeling the need to harm (verbally or physically) other people. Peaceful protests and the civil/non-harmful expression of free speech is to be valued, yes. But right now we’re seeing widespread violence, riots in the streets, people getting beaten up, mugged, harassed, verbally and physically assaulted. They’re getting baited by questions that they then receive verbal or even physical beatings for…and for what reason? Expressing their constitutional right to vote for who they believe will best lead our country? For being honest and telling the truth?
The is shameful beyond any words I could possibly write.
While I haven’t experienced a mugging or anything that tragic, I got a good dose of the hatred the morning after the election when I came into work. To be honest with you, I didn’t even vote in this election, nor did I speak out in support of anyone in particular. But even so, I got name called and accused of “hating women” and “being against social reform”. I got verbally assaulted and “put in my place” simply because I didn’t join in on the “I hate Trump” bandwagon that has somehow become the popular thing to do. Well, sorry guys. But I don’t hate anyone. And I don’t succumb to violence in word or deed just because someone doesn’t agree with me..or for an even worse reason…because someone does not join in my shared sense of justifiable hate speech.
Let me re-iterate. I DIDN’T EVEN VOTE. And yet I got verbally assaulted because I refused to join the hate speech, which apparently incurred such a narcissistic injury that it immediately invoked narcissistic rage.
The only good that comes from a response like this, is we get the chance to see what is really on the inside of people’s hearts. Many of the same people who were speaking of “tolerance” and “love” two days prior to the election were the same ones cursing and speaking hatred after it. The good Americans who were disappointed by the last two elections at least proved their integrity through accepting the reality as it was – despite it not being what they wished – and simply dedicated themselves to doing what they could with what they had. They showed good character. But these people who are now acting out in hatred and violence – suddenly we’re seeing infantile, childish, and even violent backlash and for what…simply not getting their way? This alone speak volumes, not to a “party” or to an “ideology” … but to the individual.
(As an aside, I know some amazingly good people who did not particularly care for the turnout of this election, and yet they have maintained perfect composure and integrity. For you I hold the deepest respect).
Matthew 3:12 says, “His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”
If there is anything I can say about this election, it is that the results are separating the dross from the metal and the chaff from the wheat. And I’m not here speaking about parties or ideologies or any political label – I am speaking here to the very hearts and characters of individual people. Because hearts and characters are not revealed by what we say we believe (especially when we’re happy or think we’re getting our way). In the same way that you cannot find out what’s inside a cup until you knock over the cup and spill it’s contents, our hearts and characters are revealed by what spills out when we’re pushed and knocked over.
And these election results are revealing so much about who people are and what they really believe. Not only is it revealing the integrity and character of people, it is also revealing the individual’s level of ignorance. Those who have been brainwashed by the media to believe things that simply aren’t true, those who’ve taken no steps to dig into facts or research to discover what is or is not true, those who have forgone their God-given ability to think for themselves and critically think…they’re revealing their sad state for the entire world to see. And it is a sad state indeed.
While the verbal and physical violence draws out my righteous anger, the entire state of things draws out a certain grief. A grief that our nation is being divided over nothing. Literally, nothing. And the very people who should be rejoicing in the results of this election, were they to have spent any time actually looking at any facts, are the ones speaking evil against it. The level of ignorance and brainwashing grieves my heart more than you know, and it’s driving me to my knees in prayer.
Lord, I pray you speak your truth over this nation. Dismantle the lies, deceptions, and manipulations that have so many people living in fear, anger, and darkness. Bring your light to our country and illuminate the dark so that we may rejoice and be glad that you and you alone are King. If we are living in fear, let us remember who is really in charge. And let us repent of our faithlessness and self-deceptions. Let us rejoice that you have spared us of great evils, more times than we deserve, and that this day you have rescued us from the hands of the enemy. Lord, we do not deserve it but your love is endless. And let us humbly and sincerely pray that you lead our new president in truth and with grace. In your name I pray, Amen.