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My friend Erick Erickson wrote a very poignant essay in The New York Times this morning. He began it with the compelling lede “A year ago my life went to hell.”
Indeed, I, from a respectable distance, watched him walk through that hell, while I endured a bit of my own. His is much worse, as being faced with your own, and your spouse’s mortality is the ultimate test for any soul.
From the time that Erick disinvited Donald Trump from the RedState gathering, to his official opposition of Trump as a candidate, to Erick’s bouts with blood clots in his lungs, and his wife’s continual battle with lung cancer, I’ve stood with him at The Resurgent, and as a friend offered prayer or whatever I could do.
But even if Erick and I didn’t share a writing platform (or, rather, he shares his with me), along with a worldview, I’d stand with him anyway. Because before we’re political animals, we’re human beings. Grace is unmerited favor and withheld judgment. If we begin every human interaction by first judging and then determining someone’s worth for our favor, we are not acting in grace, or in humanity. We are animals of the political sort, arranged by kingdom, phylum and species.
If my neighbor was a liberal, and was sick, I’d help. But many of us don’t know our neighbors well enough to know if they’re alive or dead.
I encourage you to read Erick’s essay, and to examine your own life for the signs of grace, or for the hallmarks of being an animal of the political sort. Life is more than politics, and we are all mortal. Grace is the only thing that has lasting value in the world, and the world is in very short supply.
Not everything should be political, and we can only make everything political when we decide the other side is evil just because they disagree with us. We can see the world only in this polarized way if we never take the time to know anyone on the other side, if we never find ways to build friendship despite our differences.
Every person has an interesting story to tell. I want my children to know my story. But I also want them to know that the stranger next door has one, too, and that even if they disagree on much, they can still be friends.
We may also never find that common ground with people whose politics or faith conflicts with ours. But we owe it to one another to disagree agreeably, without anger or intimidation, whether on a front porch or a Facebook page. A little more grace among us all would go a long way toward healing the nation.
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