Dear trump supporters: you are being played like a fiddle.

Dear trump supporters: as my great-grandfather used to say, you are getting played like a fiddle.

And you don’t even realize it. We all get played every day. Millions of dollars go into advertising. Persuasion is being taught in college classrooms all around the country. It’s an art, a technique, a career path even. And it’s so easy to fall into. Confession: I have an internal struggle almost every day over whether or not to buy Kylie Jenner’s new lip kit, because I am actually convinced that I need it. I’m convinced that a matte lip gloss would make my life better and more fulfilling. And that is so ridiculous, but even right now, I really want the lip kit. Donald trump is a business man. He is a brand, and he knows how to sell it. That is, of course how he has gotten so far. How else could someone who has alienated and offended almost every group of people get this far in a race for arguably the most powerful position in the world? How could someone who is so aggressive, intolerant, and frankly rude, be this close to being the leader of a nation that is founded on tolerance and immigrants and virtues of kindness and hard work? He is starving for power, and he knows how to get it. He is absolutely smart, I will give him that. He knows exactly what to say to hit people in that heart-spot that has been aching, and they immediately jump on board blindly. That’s why everyone says “I like trump because he says what is on his mind! “I like him because he’s not afraid to say what he thinks” “he’s not corrupted by Washington”….. I have yet to have a conversation with someone who says, “you know, I really like trump because I think this policy is going to benefit my family and I, or i really believe that he is going to fix this broken system” He just puts words to the emotions we have all been feeling, and offers solutions, albeit horrible, empty and often illogical or unrealistic ones, but people don’t care. They just want someone to tell them that America is going to be great again, and they want someone to put words to their emotions. They don’t want someone who is “politically correct” because they want someone to say with strong, flippant and reckless language what they are feeling. Which is basically “WTF is going on? This hurts so bad, and we’ve got to fix it. I don’t give a damn what it takes and I don’t give a damn if we break every rule in Washington, we’ve got to fix it” And that’s what he does. And it doesn’t even matter how he actually proposes to fix it, because people just want the promise and the passion.

Our country is in such a unique place right now. Everyone is quite literally, terrified. We are paralyzed in fear and anger and confusion and sadness, and in a lot of ways, rightly so. I’m angry that innocent people are dying every day. I’m confused that there are starving children everywhere in a country that spends millions of dollars to watch some guys throw a ball around a field. There is a low-grade fear and vigilance in me whenever I enter into a crowded place because you just never know when a mentally unstable, broken soul will be armed with an assault weapon and decide to take out his own anger on the innocent people who just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. I’m scared for the world my children will live in one day. I’m overwhelmingly sad that black men and women walk through this life always looking over their shoulder, wondering when someone will decide they’re not worthy of respect, based on their skin color alone. Im sad that a Muslim-American feels the need to constantly prove they’re not strapped with bombs. I’m confused when I go into the homes of some of the kindest, most genuine, hard-working people I know, who left everything they knew and loved in the hopes of finding safety and security for their families, and they tell me they are afraid to leave their homes for fear of getting ripped away from their children and sent back to where they came from. It’s almost unbearable to look into those sweet, brown eyes of kids who have no idea why they aren’t allowed to go to their favorite restaurant because their families might get ripped apart. The poverty and unemployment rate is staggering. And we are all trying to cope. Millions of Americans have decided to self-medicate, turning to all kinds of soul-numbing techniques to stifle this fear and sadness and confusion. It has led us into one of the most horrible drug epidemics we have ever seen.

And here is the thing: Donald Trump sees all this, and he is capitalizing on it. He’s a business man. He find the weak spots, the vulnerable people, and he plays them. But the truth is: Your soul is broken, and the world around us is broken, and it is okay and even good to feel the feels about that. I give you permission to cry and yell and scream and lament your situation. But when you are in that vulnerable place, the one where you feel lost and scared and angry and sad…I promise you, Donald Trump is NOT going to be your savior. He is going to try to convince you that he will, that you just need to be scared of “them” and trust him to flex his big muscles and it will all be okay. But I beg of you, do not trust him. Do not trust any of the presidential candidates, for that matter. None of them can or will save us from this pit we are in. (I’m not saying don’t vote, please vote. But…don’t vote for a savior– vote for a level-headed, wise, informed and even-keel leader.)….We have a Savior and His name is Jesus. He already defeated the brokenness and he sympathizes with us in our suffering, but that’s a blog for another day.

So, dear Trump supporter, or friend who is considering backing this hate-filled, power-hungry man who is promising to take your hurt away…. I’m sorry to tell you that he can’t. And I’m sorry to tell you that you are being played. Donald J Trump is playing you, those parts of you that are deep down in your soul and you can’t quite explain–he’s using those against you, for his own selfish gain. And, I can’t blame you, because I understand. I understand your hurt and your longing. I also understand the strong pull of ethos advertising. Every single one of us fall prey to the twisted mind games of advertising every day, arguably every hour. This is America in the 21st century. You are CONSTANLY bombarded by words and images that are trying to touch that vulnerable place in you, and trying to tell you that _____ will make it feel better. But hear me when I say this, the consequences of being played by Donald Trump, a man who is running for the highest position of power in our nation, are devastating. They are far greater than the consequences of spending $50 on Kylie’s new lip kit. His hate and his pride and ignorance will shake our nation to the core, and I promise you that he will not make America great again. Building walls, making jokes at other peoples expense, belittling, labeling and discriminating against human beings who are made in the image of God is extremely dangerous territory.

We need to open our eyes, and expose the reality. It’s okay to admit that you fell into the lie of believing that Mr. Trump could fix your hurts and save us. He’s a convincing guy, skilled at the art of persuasion and surrounded by advisors who coach him In how to do it better. We all put our trust in false saviors every day, because that is how we are wired. We all know we need saving, and that is good. But PLEASE don’t let Donald Trump use that against you…to get you to jump on board his reckless power trip.

You are a smart, brave, human being who is capable of loving, even when hate feels like the easier route.

Let’s stand up for love and justice and let’s do it together.

Don’t keep being played. You’re better than that.

broken glass

talk to me in metaphors

when you speak so plain i

cant understand;

that first drink went straight to my head

and you know those broken bottles

are still over there and that

glass you didn’t pick up

cut my feet. they bled a little

but I guess it’ll heal pretty quick.

i couldn’t find the broom ’cause

somebody else needed to sweep

up their own glass

i had to pick it up with my hands which took

longer and hurt more but i think i got it

all so it shouldn’t cut my feet again;

i know you probably weren’t worried

well summers just about over

and i take a drag

of that first fall air and

hope

it will hold me over another year.

lets keep on with the metaphors.

plain talk don’t get us anywhere.

a good friday, indeed.

sitting here on this Friday

fighting to know how good

it is.  epiphany

drenches me

dark nights can end

in beauty

even if it takes three days

three days

three days

of painful longing

three days

of doubt that pushes

every last bit of air

out of your lungs

three days of

no words no responses

no body is sure what

the hell just happened.

finite minds needing time

to feel the crushing weight;

ironically,

the only thing that will

free us

rescue us from our apathy

beholding the distractions

in all of their obscurity

Friday is the only way we

know what we’re freed from

its pretty damn ugly.

but after three dark nights

beauty will come in splendor.

the heaviness we needed to feel

will be gone.

he felt it for us, bore it

more thoroughly than we

were ever able to. or willing to.

believe this Friday is good

believe that it is finished, and thats

why it is good.

even though you’ll have to fight.

lack/luster

‘fellowship of suffering’

hurts like hell

opposite thoughts

flesh & spirit

mix with chords on

worn out strings

perfection slipped away—

way too tired

maybe too smart

to try and grab it

should have realized

how weak I was.

hurts like hell

glamorous and glorious

are not synonymous and

resurrection is impossible

without a death

who will deliver me?

crucify me; raise me.

glory be

burden of glory:

these words from clive staples lewis have been sitting on my heart as of late:

“When Christianity says that God loves man, it means that God loves man: not that He has some ‘disinterested’ . . . concern for our welfare, but that, in awful and surprising truth, we are the objects of His love.

You asked for a loving God: you have one.

The great spirit you so lightly invoked, the ‘lord of terrible aspect’, is present: not a senile benevolence that drowsily wishes you to be happy in your own way, not the cold philanthropy of a conscientious magistrate, nor the care of a host who feels responsible for the comfort of his guests, but the consuming fire Himself, the Love that made the worlds, persistent as the artist’s love for his work and despotic as a man’s love for a dog, provident and venerable as a father’s love for a child, jealous, inexorable, exacting as love between the sexes. How this should be, I do not know: it passes reason to explain why any creatures, not to say creatures such as we, should have a value so prodigious in their Creator’s eyes.

It is certainly a burden of glory not only beyond our deserts, but also, except in rare moments of grace, beyond our desiring…

sifted

“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail” -Luke 22:32

The one who fell the greatest fall, from the highest to the lowest, demanded me. To sift me like wheat. “Why do people sift wheat?” I ask my friends while we sit around the lit up christmas tree that we forgot to water today. No one knows. I google it on my iphone, it says that wheat is sifted to get out the dirt, dust, and debris; to purify it. Hm..

You gave me to him. But not really, because I know you’ve had me all along. And all this time I’ve been sifted like wheat, you’ve been praying for me. Powerful, strong prayers that rise in their perfection. Petitioning the throne that my faith may not fail. At least that’s what you said to Simon. Simon the one you renamed Peter, the rock who denied you one. two. three times. Who walked on water but fell because he was so distracted. The one you called Satan once, do you remember? The one who was always getting it wrong and setting his mind on the things of man. Simon, who the second he saw you, fell down on his face, called you Lord and asked you to depart from him. 

I am so much like him. Despite these things–the love you have, for him and for me, is greater that the mind can know. You prayed for us, for Simon and for me, that our faith might not fail. You could have said “no!” to the one who fell. But instead, you prayed. Because you know that your father will not deny you good, you know the mighty power of those prayers, you know who has already won the battle, that the expression of that victory will be here soon. And you know… that we needed to be sifted like wheat. To get out all of the debris and dust that was sticking to our souls. To make the wheat pure, to sift out the crookedness of the world that crept in without being noticed. Yes, we had to be sifted, and I probably will need the same thing tomorrow. 

So, you didn’t say “no.” Instead you prayed, “that your faith may not fail.” At least that’s what you said to Simon. And my only hope of my faith not failing, is that you are praying for me, too.