I Still Like You. Will You Still Like Me?

We all feel it.

The tension surrounding this crazy election is so thick that it truly feels like we’re tiptoeing around one another.

We find ourselves afraid to be honest with one another. We’re ANGRY at each other. We feel betrayed by those we *thought* we knew.

All because of a vote.

Over the past several months we’ve found ourselves faced with an excruciatingly hard question: Who will we vote for to lead our nation? Who will we elect to represent us? Who do we want to continue laying the groundwork for our children’s future?

And our choices aren’t that great.

But here’s the thing: who you vote for isn’t going to change my opinion about you as a person. You are still my friend. Some of us bonded while brushing our Barbies’ hair when we were still in pigtails. Perhaps we shared a middle school crush or had  inside jokes; took a road trip across the country or went Mermaiding in college. Maybe we dated. Perhaps I broke your heart (sorry!) or you broke mine (forgiven!). There were weddings attended and births celebrated; hugs shared and tears shed when our hearts hurt… and when they rejoiced.

We have done life together. Maybe not all of it, but you helped me become who I am today and part of me helped you become you. What a privilege, influencing the life of another. Thank you.

This is why, in these uncertain, division-filled, on-edge times, I want you to know this:

I VALUE YOU.

I AM GRATEFUL FOR YOU.

Our politics and beliefs may differ, but that doesn’t change that I think YOU ARE GREAT. And I STILL want to be your friend tomorrow, regardless of who gets elected today.

Here’s the thing: after all the votes are counted and the celebrating or weeping is done, we’re going to have to work together in order to succeed, as individuals and as a nation: UNITED.

Unlike the politicians we’ve seen drag each other through the mud, slinging words of division and hatred and disgust at one another, will you join me in taking the high road and respectfully disagree without taking personal offense? And encourage our kids and those in our circles to do the same?

Proverbs 15:1 says, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

I commit to speaking gently.

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” -Ephesians 4:32

I will be kind to you and have compassion on you, seeking to understand where you’re coming from and why you feel the way you do.

“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” -James 1:19

I will listen first. I won’t argue with you to be right, but I do want to understand your perspective, so I’ll listen.

We may disagree about the issues. That’s okay. But I will choose to love you and be kind to you regardless of the boxes you marked on your ballot. Will you do the same? After all, for better or worse, we’re going to wake up on November 9th and have to face the results of our choices together.

Let’s choose better. 

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7 thoughts on “I Still Like You. Will You Still Like Me?

  1. kathleen soleibe says:

    blockquote, div.yahoo_quoted { margin-left: 0 !important; border-left:1px #715FFA solid !important; padding-left:1ex !important; background-color:white !important; } Well said summer, well said. Thank you!Kathleen 

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

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  2. Jess says:

    This is such a privileged white girl’s perspective, the tone is so flippant. Sigh. Sadness. I would urge you to at least acknowledge the true fear of many brown women post-election in this new American landscape rather than say “can we all just get along?” Seek out your minority friends if you have any and dig deeper. We need white women to help us, not slay us with these kinds of flippant words.

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    • Summer Wilson says:

      Hi Jess, Thanks so much for sharing with me your thoughts. My perspective wasn’t at all one of race, but of the hate spewing in Democrat vs. Republican vs. other party. I agree with you completely that there is a big problem facing us all with regard to race/religion/etc. I have, in earnest, reached out to my friends (male and female) whose skin tone is different than my own and asked what I, as a white woman, can do to encourage not just feelings of equality and mutual acceptance, but to be a “safe” person for them and to encourage that wherever I go. Can you help me, and any of the others who read this, understand your fears? I know that as a woman I have concerns (big ones). As a parent I have concerns (again, big ones). As a Christian, more concerns. I can’t know firsthand the additional fear of being a “brown woman”, as I’m not. But I WANT to understand. Can you help me? I’m being completely sincere and desire to know what you would like to see from a fellow woman.

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      • Jess says:

        Thank you for taking the time to respond, I do appreciate it and have enjoyed your postings. I also really appreciate you desiring to be a “safe” person. In the days since the election, my young daughter experienced her first racist incident at the church playground no less. The white mom there, who I am generally friendly with, laughed it off as a joke. It was a terrible nightmare coming true. But it was no laughing matter to have a young child hear from another young child – “Donald Trump is going to lock you up if you don’t get off that swing because you’re not American.” This is a small example, but my fear is that rushes of emboldened hatred that will soon be normalized, even in church communities. Many of my friends of color also report the same.

        If there is something that you can do to understand, I’d say – just open your eyes differently. I truly believe the local church is the greatest tool for healing divisions, but the local church is so segregated. See how segregated your church is. I was not surprised to find, for example, that my church has many small groups, but that the white Christians generally preferred to be “in community” with other white Christians. Christian white moms throw around words like “my people” and “tribe” – I can only assume they only mean other white moms.

        You have a platform here to heal divisions and be transparent. I certainly don’t. Would love to see where you go with it.

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      • Summer Wilson says:

        Jess, this is SO helpful. Thank you. I look around my church and see people of all shades and pigments. They’re all hanging out together, but I wonder if, like you mentioned, there’s a “general friendliness” that just happens because we attend the same church or because they teach another’s kids in Sunday School. What would it look like for a person to bridge the gap and truly “do life” with another? In my heart, I just want mama friends to do life with. I don’t care what their backgrounds are or how much education they’ve had or whatever. Mamas are lifelines to other mamas. But, your comment also has me thinking, why do we all congregate toward similarly-colored people? It does seem, upon reflection, that we all are fine laughing at the coffee stand at church, but why don’t we take it further and ask each other out to REAL coffee? Or a play date with the kids? You’ve challenged me to see what I can do to bridge this gap that we don’t want to admit exists, truly. Oh, and with regard to the ‘tribe’ or ‘people’ comment, I can tell you that when a mama throws that comment out, she’s not saying, “My fellow white people”, but “the ladies who love me even though they know my ugly parts”. If there is a woman out there who will love me like Jesus does, unconditionally and with the ability to laugh at and with me and call me out when I’m screwing up, it doesn’t matter what her DNA says her pigment is or what city or class she’s in; that woman is one of my people. And I truly hope I’d be one of hers, too. Love to you, Sister. I’m going to be praying about this and ask you to do the same. We have a responsibility as women of faith to train our children well and to set the example to those around us. Would you please pray for me, that I would be obedient to any steps the Lord calls me to in stepping up?

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      • Jess says:

        You hit the nail on the head: there is general friendliness, but few real friendships. Church leadership is generally not very diverse either. But I do still believe Jesus’ Church – His bride – is the answer to bridge gaps. I have to respectfully disagree with you about the “tribe” comment – the only people I know who use a word like that are white Christian women ala “If Gathering.” The definition of “tribe” itself warrants exclusion. Anyhow – YES. Absolutely. I will be in prayer for you and others on how to step up with sensitivity and grace. These times are divisive, but they are our times to speak love. Thanks for your heart on this subject. Will look forward to see how it may unfold. Keep writing!!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Summer Wilson says:

    I totally see your point. Perhaps IF is where ‘tribe’ came from. I have no idea, though, as I’ve never participated. I just have a few close girlfriends that I had the privilege of becoming soul sisters with after a long period of loneliness. They’re my ‘peeps’ because that’s what we called each other when life got really hard, you know, the people you go to when you need help breathing and the people who remind you of God’s faithfulness when you’re struggling to see Him through the sorrow. Those kind of people are my kind of people. I agree, though, ‘Tribe’ does by definition exclude others from itself. Yuck. By the way, if you live in the Seattle area, I’d love to meet you and grab coffee. For real. ❤

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