DMINLGP

DMin, Leadership and Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

An Election Day Psalm

Written by: on November 3, 2020

How long, O Lord, will you forget us?

How long will you turn your face away?

How long will your silence be deafening;

Your presence imperceivable?

 

We are wasting away

consumed by corruption,

manipulation,

greed,

and partisan politics.

 

Democrats sit crouched,

ready to pounce on Republicans.

Republicans stand armed ready to shoot

whoever stands in their way.

Progressive Christians condemn

conservative Christians

condemn progressive Christians…

Where everyone’s a psychic,

predicting with certainty what

the future holds

if this person

or that person

sits in that seat.

 

Who are we, really?

Vapors.

Grasshoppers.

Walking dead.

Specks of dust

in the vastness of eternity.

 

Yet we think we are central,

in this land of the free and brave.

We hold the weaker captive

and neglect the other.

We trample the earth,

subduing it and

all who inhabit it.

We seek to build our kingdom come

As our will is done.

 

Our hammers of fear

pound relentlessly

forging fortresses

of anger and hate,

while chisels shave off

compassion,

empathy,

generosity,

grace.

 

Our systems of power are

grotesque,

broken.

Individually

we are the same

for our collective within is

reflected in the without.

 

Freedom is but a catch phrase

in this land

that is bound in

shackles of shame.

We cannot gnaw,

shake,

or even vote our way out of them.

 

We can only turn

to You, O Lord.

 

You who shaped us from

dirt and eternal waters

and set us upon wobbly legs

to walk in the Way

through the darkness of the womb

and then again through the tomb.

 

There is but one Way

for us to go,

one Person we are to follow,

one place we are to put our hope and trust.

 

You alone are trustworthy,

faithful,

good.

 

You alone hold all

the specks of dust in your hands

and keep the waters flowing free and true.

 

You alone invite us into the river

of Grace

which carries us

into the depths of You.

 

Help us to say Yes

to your invitation

and in doing so,

discover,

in the collective flow of Eternity,

we are indeed

more powerful

then all the earthly kingdoms

and political parties

and power structures

combined.

Help us to know

in that flow

we are already free.

About the Author

mm

Darcy Hansen

11 responses to “An Election Day Psalm”

  1. mm Dylan Branson says:

    Beautiful, Darcy.

    I’m sitting at my desk now watching the results starting to come in. Even leading up to the election, the comfort or fear people have coming into it of “this state is a ‘safe’ state” or “this state is a ‘swing’ state” builds a foundation of safety or anxiety. And what happens when our predictions fail? When we lose faith in the “system” and how things always were? Or, what’s also interesting, is what others outside the US hope for or fear regarding the uncertainty of the election.

    We have our Hope, and that is what gives us the means to continue in the face of our uncertainty.

    • mm Darcy Hansen says:

      I think it’s one thing for results to not turn out as expected. I think it’s another for them to be construed as fraudulent without adequate information. Seems just the planting of a seed of impropriety equates to actual impropriety. When that happens, the system is questioned- never to be trusted again. To be sure- such a system is not sustainable.

      It is fascinating how so many in the international community are watching our election. I suppose they are always watching, but it is heightened now. I don’t think I realized how significantly our elections impacted people in other countries. I was listening to NPR as they interviewed people from around the globe. The opinions and reasons for a preferred candidate victory were extremely diverse and nuanced.

  2. mm Shawn Cramer says:

    You alone tore down the wall
    of hostility
    We alone rebuild that wall
    brick by brick

    You alone were in
    then thrown out of the city
    like garbage
    for those outside
    to be brought in.

    Just riffing off your generative lament.

  3. mm Greg Reich says:

    Darcy,
    Beautiful!
    We often loose perspective of life by focusing on all the chaos around us. The Apostle Paul took up a lot of space in his letter to the Corinthians convincing them that they needed to look forward with a faith of expectancy. It appears that many people of faith have put their hope in something other than God.

    • mm Darcy Hansen says:

      It is interesting to me the number of Christians I’ve seen post about “Get ready to lose all your freedoms,” and how our ancestors that fought for those freedoms are “turning in their graves.” Where does our freedom really come from? I don’t think it’s the nation in which we reside. We do have a responsibility to love others well, and that includes participating in the necessary systems and structures to move them more fully toward shalom. But we will never achieve the fullness of shalom this side of heaven. Keeping our hearts focused on Christ is integral to living into the freedom he came to give.

  4. mm Jer Swigart says:

    Woah. This is profound:

    “Freedom is but a catch phrase
    in this land
    that is bound in
    shackles of shame.
    We cannot gnaw,
    shake,
    or even vote our way out of them.”

    It captures, I think the imprisoned consequence of our idolatrous Christian Nationalism. I need to sit with this a bit more as “Freedom” has come to mean so many things to so many people. There is a bigger freedom that Christ offers that is internal and eternal yet that informs the external and temporal.

    • mm Darcy Hansen says:

      Agreed. There’s paradox of responsibility that lies within the freedom narrative. There is also a spectrum of understanding of what freedom means. Having a clear definition is important when in dialogue with others. How have you seen that word experienced/defined in your context? What does realized freedom look like for those with which you interact? How does shame hinder individuals becoming increasingly more free?

      • mm Jer Swigart says:

        One, of many, forms of freedom that I’m observing is that these leaders care less and less what others think about them. They are no longer committed to the games of image-management that the system required of them. With less energy given to image management, the more liberated they are to give of themselves for the sake of others.

  5. mm John McLarty says:

    This is brilliant. A lament- a word of hope- and an invitation to something better all in one. So much of your writing this semester has fit really nicely into your area of study. Like Jer, I’ll need to read and re-read and I’m grateful for the chance to reflect and meditate on this.

  6. mm Chris Pollock says:

    “The deafening silence of God.” Help our unbelief. When You are silent. Can we hear you coming to life (I hear voices raising behind me in the music, the choir of Maverick City). Kinda like when one of the lost boys finds Peter Pan (in the character of Robin Williams).

    “We are wasting away consumed by corruption, manipulation, greed, and partisan politics.”

    (Elements of narcissism.) Stone-walling: the narcissism of watching people flutter about, off-the-rails crying to be heard, and…nothing.

    Gas-lighting: they are crazy, just look at them all; ‘cry-babies’ all of them, so emotional ‘just-look-at-them’, they don’t know what they want.

    Crazy-making: the feeling that we are all wrong and ‘they’, the ones watching with the power (and, ability to correct things)…are right.

    Pandemic.

    No, we are in a state of Pandaemonium.

    Yet, we are closer…every…single…day…to our Saviour. Jesus is coming. Maranatha.

    Narrow is the road. And, there will be few. Quietly consider the margins and beyond them in this time. Draw near to Jesus.

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