(Trump Hotel Presidential Ballroom)
“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.” Galatians 5:13-15 (NIV)
Jase and I were extremely privileged and honored to be invited to the Inauguration and related festivities in Washington, D. C. this past weekend. Believe it or not, Jase didn’t agree to go until the Sunday prior due to the epic duck season we are having here in northeast Louisiana. (Is anyone surprised?) Sometimes it takes an outside voice telling him that he would be a complete idiot not to attend after being personally invited by the Trump family (no, it wasn’t me! Thank you, Barrett). Seeing this historical moment and witnessing this process first-hand was something both of us will never forget. We were on the phone with our kids both days telling them details of these amazing experiences. Inside the walls of each of these events, we were among supporters, friends, fans of our show and fellow Americans with their own personal stories. I met people from all over the country whose husbands fought in Afghanistan, whose children were born with physical challenges like Mia’s and who were excited to hear how many times God was mentioned from the Capitol platform. We all shared our optimism about the future of our country.
However, right outside these safe places were protestors. I can’t tell you what their signs said, because after seeing the first one with the “F” word plastered on it, I turned away. I couldn’t help from hearing their words, though, as they blocked our path on the sidewalk while shouting, “Nazi Pigs, walk on the dirt!” Armed with weapons and protective gear, police were lined up on one side less than 3 feet to our left while the protestors were less than 18 inches from our right, screaming profanities, raising their fists and hurling insults in our faces. It was a very intense few moments that made me feel intimidated, scared and angry. The feelings of being intimidated and scared came immediately. The anger came over the next few minutes as I walked and thought about my own grandpa “Pops” who is a navy veteran. Did they know that I am part German from my Pops’ side? Did they know that my Pops was a fighter pilot in World War II? Did they know that he joined the U. S. Navy in order to help stop the Nazi’s from killing people for no other reason other than they didn’t agree with their way of life? Did they care to even ask? The name they were calling me was exactly the opposite of who I am. Isn’t that what they say their reason is for protesting against us? It all seemed so irrational. It all seemed so ungodly.
Maybe that’s why the above verse kept coming to my mind. The people around me were silently walking, just like me and Jase. One young lady dressed in a beautiful red gown, high heels and jewels, yelled back, “My husband fought for your rights!” as she kept walking. Did they succeed in intimidating us? Somewhat, yes. Did they succeed in forcing us off the concrete sidewalk? Yes, instead, we all had to walk on the manicured lawn of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Thankfully, we all remained safe and enjoyed a fabulous night of celebration.
I’ve heard the saying recently regarding Washington, D. C., “be careful what you say and do, because every 4 or 8 years, chances are you’ll find yourself on the other side.” I’ve disagreed with the policies of the last administration, but I took comfort in this passage in Romans 13:
“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.”
It’s easy to say the coined phrase, “God doesn’t make mistakes” when it comes to something we agree with, but what about those things with which we do not agree? We must trust that God knows what we do not.
Titus 3:1-2 helps remind us of this.
“Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.”
This should be the goal of everyone who claims to be a Christian, a child of God, redeemed, forgiven, who have hope for a forever future. Yes, we celebrate now with our choice, with our victory. But we should remember that in a few short years, we may be back on the disapproving side. How will our words and actions depict us as Christians? Even now, our response to these hateful and demeaning remarks and insults will show whose citizens we are. While we may be proud Americans, our forever home awaits.
Oh, and on a side note, they didn't kill a duck at home on Friday. Sometimes, God just gives you the desires of your heart.
Have a wonderful week!