As a white, heterosexual, able-bodied, college-educated, American male who lives and works in a suburban, affluent community in the 21st century, I am one of the most privileged people on the planet.

I share none of this flippantly.  I share it to make a point.

I’ve never worried about having clean water to drink, electricity to charge my iPhone, a roof over my head at night, health care for my family, or food in our pantry.

I’ve never known what it’s like to have a store clerk eye me suspiciously while I’ve shopped with my friends.

I’ve never been concerned for my physical well-being or civil rights whenever I’ve been pulled over by a police officer.

I’ve never been bullied in the hallways of any of my schools or considered self-harm to ease the psychological pain of being ostracized by my own family for my sexual orientation.

Our daughter will never be taunted by her classmates to consider “going back” to her ancestors’ country of origin because of her skin color or ethnic heritage.

Our unborn son will not grow up fearful of having his parents deported because one or both of us immigrated here to give him a better life.

The next American President is a white, heterosexual, able-bodied, college-educated, male billionaire.

He is far from perfect.  And so am I.

This post isn’t about politics or privilege, though.

It’s about hope.

As a Christian, my ultimate hope rests not in our nation’s government or its officials, nor in my own talents, bank account, or accomplishments, but in a man named Jesus who was born in the squalor of a middle-eastern farmhouse two millennia ago to a teenaged refugee mom and a poor, blue-collar, Jewish dad.

That may sound crazy to some of you.  I can sleep at night with that.  I’m not saying it for likes, shares, views, or amens.  I’m saying it because in my experience knowing, following, and trusting Jesus, I’ve never doubted his love for me or his ability to redeem and restore the brokenness in my life or the broken world he’s commanded me to love unconditionally.

He’s never once given me a reason to doubt his faithfulness.

Because my ultimate hope is in Jesus, my hope is also in you, whom he loves like no other and calls me to love as he does.

As we walk alongside each other in the days and weeks ahead, we are bound to let each other down at some point.  We will see ugly flaws in one another.  We will disagree and frustrate each other.  We will fall short of each other’s expectations.  We will wound each other because we are wounded.

In spite of all of this, we also have the amazing freedom and opportunity to love one another sacrificially.

We have the opportunity to bring light to people in dark places.

We have the opportunity to step into the gap for each other and form a living bridge of compassion and strength the world has never known before.

We have the opportunity to lead and create positive change within our families and communities by volunteering, mentoring the younger generation, and giving generously of our resources to those in need.

We have the opportunity to help each other move forward when fear is all we feel around us.

I am hopeful that the flawed, broken people who will be leading this country into the future will do so with humility, compassion, and wisdom.

I am hopeful that we will strive to see the broken world through each other’s broken lenses for a change, and, by doing so, help to restore some of that brokenness.

I am hopeful that you and I, regardless of our political or spiritual leanings, will each commit to confronting our own glaring imperfections and shortcomings before we confront those we see in our fellow citizens.

I am hopeful that our love for one another will drive out fear and that our willingness to learn from and listen to each other patiently will become one of our greatest strengths.

How will you expend your time, energy, and thoughts in the days ahead?

Will you be busy debating divisive issues or loving broken people?

I want to point people to hope.

I need you to keep pointing me there, too.

-Ryan

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