I have been sitting here today, praying about what I can write about peace. The anger so many are expressing privately and publicly about the candidates they are supporting is a cue that as a country we are out of balance and are not in peace. This morning, one of the first things I was asked was who I had voted for and rather then say, because it really is no one’s business, I said I was voting for a Pampered Chef Facebook party. At least there we are having fun, laughing, talking about our favorite products, and supporting the host. In this election, there is little fun, joy, or positive energy. There is hurt, anger, sadness, and frustration.
So how do we move from this space of hurt and anger to a space of peace. How do we build bridges where walls of hate and anger have been constructed. As I sat here and thought about this I was reminded of a sermon I once read by Florence Spearing Randolph, a black woman who preached a sermon about what she would do if she were white. Years ago, I preached a sermon inspired by hers where I talked about what I would do if I were male, female, black, white, biracial, rich, poor, middle class, able bodied, disabled, lesbian, bisexual, straight, cisgendered and transgendered. So today, in hopefully my first and last piece that is political in nature, I want to share what I would do if I were elected President to restore peace in our country and what I would do if I was not.
So let me begin with what I would do if I were not elected. I would begin by giving thanks for all those who supported me and my efforts and who sacrificed their time, talents and resources. I would then let my opponent know that I wish them nothing but the best as they lead our country and give them my full support. I do not have to agree with them to support them in the difficult task they have before them for the next four years and I would encourage those who supported me to do the same and to also continue to stay engaged politically to bring about change in this world through non-violent methods. I would offer to work with my opponent to build bridges and opportunities for those who have felt disenfranchised and disempowered by both campaigns to be heard and honored.
If I were elected President, I would begin by going back to some of the spiritual teachings I have learned over the years about sharing the peace. I would begin by sitting down with those who had issues with me or with whom I had issues and work on reconciling our differences. I would begin by promoting reconciliation through humility not violence. I would begin by honoring my opposition and recognizing the gifts they brought to the table, because we ALL have a gift which we bring to the table. We all have something to learn from each other. We all have a piece of the universal truth which the other does not possess.
I would remember the closing language of President Lincoln’s inaugural address where he stated, ”With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.” I would recognize that we have a country that is wounded and in need of healing. I would recognize that this election has been like a civil war and it is going to take time to care for those who have been injured by it. I would work on stopping the use of language and actions which do not come from a space of love.
If I were elected President, I would remember that everything that I did must be about achieving peace within our nation and between ourselves and other nations. I would remember to promote peace, to be open to learning and growing in my understanding of this world from all members of humanity. I would remember the advice I once found on the back of a magazine which said, “If you want a better WORLD, Composed of better NATIONS, Inhabited by better STATES, Filled with better COUNTIES, Made up of better CITIES, Comprised of better NEIGHBORHOODS, Illuminated by better CHURCHES, Populated with better FAMILIES, Then you have to start by becoming a better PERSON.”  so I would work on being the best person and thus the best President I can be.
 Church of the Nazarene, Ideas for building an inclusive church http://www.multiculturalministries.org/creative.htm