Dear Fellow American,
I started out wanting to write an open letter to Donald Trump until I realized I don’t have anything to say to him, but instead have something to say to my fellow Americans because in reality, we collectively have more power than only one man has. But, that’s only if we choose to talk to each other and overcome our differences.
I started this fight for the 2016 race back in early spring of 2015 when Dr. Carson announced his presidential exploratory committee to run for POTUS. Since then, it has been a powerful journey getting to know, meet and talk with so many of my fellow Americans from around the country. I’ve lived all over the United States and some abroad, but given the political and social climate of 2016, it feels like I’m meeting America at one of its most vulnerable times, which is like meeting her for the first time.
I have never witnessed so much societal anger and media recklessness in my life. In fact, it truly scares me when I hear my mentors, who are older than I talk about how they have never seen anything like what we’re experiencing now. The entire establishment is stirring the pot, dividing America and this actually brings me to my point—fear.
Once upon a time, I used to be a therapist. While no longer practicing, I do remember some of my heroic professors that were able to work therapeutic miracles like Robin William’s role in “Patch Adams.” One professor in particular had some timeless words of hope in an ever-shifting culture of doom. He once explained anger in very clear terms. He pointed out that “anger is a secondary emotion.”
A secondary emotion means that their job is to protect more vulnerable emotions, like fear, hurt or betrayal. And Americans are angry now for a very good reason. We are scared and Americans are lashing out left and right in anger, because of this, we are judging the opposition and buying into the divisive tactic of this current regime.
But I want to tell you a story about a little five-year-old girl, a residential patient at the psychiatric hospital that officially started my career in counseling. I worked with the “C” group, which meant kids between three or four until about 11 years old. This Patch Adams-like professor inspired me to attempt to form a genuine therapeutic relationship (if you have a psychology background, those words should really hit home) with the little girl that was dubbed the “demon child” to most of the techs. However, to me, she became my “angel.” To keep it short, at the time, this child had only been alive for five years, but had been gang raped so many times by her family and their friends that her poor little insides had chronic problems. However, beyond the physical suffering, the emotional terror she experiences would manifest itself through violent fits of rage that would remind anyone of scenes from “Poltergeist.”
But something inside me decided that I was going to take this child as “my own” from the time I clocked in to the time I clocked out. I would tuck her in at night, which I was constantly discouraged from. The thought of this child’s earliest memories being rape-filled and living in a sterile hospital with only staff and without family made me defiant to their biddings. She had to have some memories of someone showing her love in her early childhood and if no one else was going to do it, I was.
I watched over her during my 32-hour workweek there, trying not to show partiality, but something inside told me she needed someone to be partial to her when it seemed the rest of the world was against her, including her own parents. I tried to find ways to foster her, but being in graduate school and working, there was just no way. For some reason, the other techs just made fun of her when she had these violent emotional crises. She saw a therapist several times a week, but when was this child ever going to experience love in her darkest hour of living in a cold mental institution?
Her fits were scary and techs got hurt trying to restrain her at times. She would bite, punch, kick, and pinch. And on top of it all, she would arrange an orchestra of profanities that would make sailors language sound like nursery rhymes.
I was in my early twenties and just starting graduate school when I worked at that residential facility. I wasn’t the most educated on counseling theories and techniques, nor did I understand all that was going on inside her little heart, but I knew love was the answer because I had known someone who was willing to meet me at my darkest hour, at my lowest points and I was softened, even if it was ever so slightly. Of course, it takes years of this to undo horrific abuse, but we have to start somewhere, right?
Most Americans feel betrayed and scared (remember those emotions that anger covers up as a self-defense mechanism)? Most people will not admit that to just anyone and that’s OK. But we as Americans need to realize that most other Americans feel just as betrayed and lost as we do. I understand that those that follow the liberal agenda may not feel that way. I’ve talked to many liberal voters and yes, they can be very arrogant, but when I responded with gentleness and humility, (something that was very hard to do), things did change! They did soften and listen to what I had to say. It was fascinating.
“A gentle answer turns away wrath. But a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:15
America is slowly making her way toward a very dark hour and Americans are displaying more and more fits of rage that the media does not let slip. We have heard that our current leader could be using all this social tension to leverage Martial Law and stay in office—a terrifying thought, but there is something we can do about it. We aren’t powerless.
This isn’t an easy message to hear. Most of us want our anger justified. I have. I have wanted to look for excuses to validate my anger, but that has only put a wall of separation between the Father and I, something I cannot afford to have currently.
Somehow, loving my enemies, doing it only because I fear the Lord, does draw me closer to Him, something I am desperate for right now.
“But in respect to your countrymen, the sons of Israel, you shall not rule with severity over one another.” Leviticus 25:46
I realize that some would argue that not all of Israel is Israel (Romans 9:6-7) but that’s a teaching in and of itself. Just briefly, to touch on the subject, Paul was referencing obedience to the Word of God and the seed of Abraham. In fact, Brad Scott has a wonderful teaching on this called, “The Wheat among the Tares.” This segues into a powerful illustration of fruit and salvation.
As stated before that not all of Israel is Israel, this parallels many of our current fears that not all Americans are truly American, meaning that many are perceived as traitors. I get that! But again, going back to the beginning, it’s prophesied that the tares would grow up among the wheat. There would come a time when the sickle would come to the field and that the wheat would be heavy with berries (fruit) which would make them bow, while the chaff, being fruitless would stand straight and be cut off.
This is why we must bear the fruit of the Spirit at this point. Love, joy, peace patience, kindness, gentleness goodness, and self-control. It reminds me of the scene in “Indiana Jones: The Last Crusade” where he has to pass through all these “tests” to get to the Cup of Christ. One of the test’s clues was “only the penitent man will pass.” A lightbulb goes on in his head and just at the right moment, Indiana kneels down before massive blades almost decapitate him.
Humility preserved him and this clearly illustrated exactly what Jesus talked about in the parable of the wheat and the tares.
Therefore, while America is still gearing up for the worst ahead, we have commands from our Commanding Officer that will give us life. Maybe not here on earth, but life eternal. In the end, that is His choice. When He calls us home, it’s because it was the best time for us to go.
So, the next time we see a car broken down, regardless of political affiliation, let’s show this administration that we know how to unite as Americans, and will not be played as pawns for any agenda. Our agenda is the agenda of the Father and His agenda is His Word and salvation. Because the only thing that will soften America’s blow at this point will be the compassion fellow Americans demonstrate toward one another.
©Olivia Reid, 2016
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