If Jesus came back tonight I wouldn't want Him to find me in a gun store; but with Trump as a legitimate candidate for president of the United States I am genuinely afraid for my safety and the safety of my family.
During orientation of our Summer Immersion Program, I sat across from six brave students as we discussed issues of injustice in America and a young woman asked me what I would do if Trump won; and I didn't really answer her question. My honest thought was that I would buy a gun because I need to protect my wife and child from whatever violence this ignorant windbag catalyzes with his hate-laden speeches masquerading as a legitimate political platform.
Now what does my reaction say about me? It says I believe at some level that I actually can protect "us" from "them". That somehow the powerlessness that I feel will be alleviated by a barrel, ammunition and my willingness to pull the trigger. And that's simply not true.
A gun won't save me from feeling like a target. Instead it takes the dehumanization I feel every day and twists it into empowerment that isn't real.
So where does that leave me?
How did love your enemy turn into shoot them if they threaten you? How did bless those who persecute you turn into God bless me and no one else? How can the same Jesus who went to the Cross be used as fuel to execute gross injustice against those in power? I have internalized my fear and now turn my intimidation outward towards those who would dare come against me. How ignorant and misguided I have allowed myself to become.
Somehow instead of leaning into Him I want to get an AR-15. That if I don't take up arms against Trump, I've somehow let my wife and daughter down. Love my neighbor turned into shoot them if I have to because gunshots will dispel the potential hatred coming toward us. Somehow my new conceal and carry permit turns me into a person made into image of God and that police officer, stranger or neighbor needing a cup of sugar just might not be.
I lay in bed with my pregnant wife beside me trying be like Jesus, without thinking I am the Messiah. And that is profoundly difficult because this world desperately needs a savior. Praise God that He already sent one and His name is not me. So I can go to sleep knowing He holds everything together, He is Our Sword and Shield and I am no coward for putting my trust in His love. For it drives out all my fears and His hope will not disappoint us.