Oh, the ‘p’ word. Nobody wants to say it, even breathe it out loud.
Really hard to talk about—in the capital of all places. Hey, want some fun Grover couple trivia? Did you know my husband and I are on two sides of a political coin? Oh, yeah (please feel free to imagine the Kool-Aid man saying this)!
John was one of the few conservatives on campus, and I remember quite vividly participating in several local Dems petition pushes at our college in small town Maine. But, he thought I was cute and he wanted to take a chance, so he decided to join my (non-partisan!) Birthday Club meetings in the dining hall (this was the best club ever, by the way-it was all birthday card making and cake decorating).
But now that we’re out of college and we’re on the DC scene? Well, maybe we don’t bring up our political persuasions that much. At least, I don’t. An educator’s an educator, right? Kids don’t care about politics, and their parents don’t want to talk about it with you. Which, coincidentally is what adults should really work on. Getting along with each other.
Plus, with politics we don’t really talk about it that much as a couple, except with our college friends who like to gently poke fun. How else would we have survived 4 years together dating before we got married? Well, we also love each other. A lot. We’re honest with each other. And, sometimes we don’t talk about certain issues. Which honestly is just loving each other more than we love our loyalties to ideas.
But, you say, how do you get along with people whom you don’t love or care for? Well, I hate to break it to you, but Jesus loved everyone. Literally, everyone. And if he were here in 2018, he would still love everyone. Republicans, Democrats, Independents, and non-voters included. So, just to reiterate and make sure the people in the back hear this: the goal is to pretty much love everyone as a Christian. I’m not saying you have to bring everyone their favorite cookies or make a date with everyone down the street for coffee (because we all think we have as much time as we want, but think of the traffic!). But you can treat them civilly. Have a conversation with the other side. Listen to how their day’s going, maybe. Or their week. A listening ear is a great thing. Or, tell them how you’re doing. And if you’re feeling really extroverted, a dinner among neighbors is always awesome.
I probably have some of the best stories and memories from being invited over for dinner by someone in the Falls Church area, or just stepping out to get food with someone. It is a truth universally acknowledged that people can’t really get as mad as they’d like to when they’re enjoying a delicious meal that you cooked for them, or food you’re paying for. I bet you one Chick-Fil-A meal that you could find something in common with a Republican, Democrat, Libertarian or Green Party member down the street from you and have a decent conversation about something you both enjoy. For example, many of John’s friends are of the Libertarian persuasion. However, I often find a lot of fodder for conversation in talking about my hometown, good (fictional) books that I’ve read, or even good restaurants in DC that I’ve tried or need to try (have I mentioned that I fudging love food?!). Similarly, his friends often try to engage me by asking if I share their love of barre classes (sadly, I can’t say that I do), whether I’m from the Midwest (also no, but similar to Maine culture), or by suggesting a new album to listen to on Spotify if we have similar music tastes.
So get out there, and take someone out for a bite to eat! Talk about your interests. Join a recreational club based solely on non-partisan issues. And if you’re brave, come to church! But cut down on the vitriol in your speech please, even if you recognize a member from the other party. We love everyone at Skyline, and we’re not into building a more polarized country while we’re building roots for Jesus!
If you missed out on this week's sermon, check it out here.