Psychologists tell us that many are suffering from anxieties raised by the tenor of this year’s presidential election. Whether you feel like you are drowning in a sea of confusing emotions, or infuriated by media soundbites, political views of friends, or the qualifications of candidates, here is a poem and an exercise for you.
we are drowning in the storm
of this election season.
We are being plunged
Under the turbulent waves
of the turbid lives of our candidates.
Each day a new tsunami
of recrimination and accusation slams us
and we are drowning.
Send your Holy Spirit to us,
wash over us,
renew our hearts
so that we sink no more
beneath the betrayal and corruption
of our own faults and those of others.
Help us arise and walk across the flood
into your loving arms. Amen.
Remember, clear-headed thinking about important decisions, like voting, requires peace of mind and a willingness to forgive others who seem to block God’s mercy in your heart. So take a closer look at your reactions.
A. Imagine someone whose action makes your blood boil, so that you feel like reacting in a very physical way. Now think of yourself as reaching for an imaginary tool that you might use as a weapon. What would it be?
- Saw (to cut off the relationship)
- Hammer (to insist on what you want)
- Pliers (to hang on for dear life)
- Screwdriver (to pin down the other person)
- Another tool…
B. What would it be like for you to respond with this imaginary way? How would you feel? What would happen next?
C. Lift up your imaginary tool or get a real one and lift it up to God as you pray: “Lord Jesus, I have wanted to harm others with this ______. I am sorry, and I ask your forgiveness. I trust in the Father’s mercy for me, for those I feel offended by and for our country. I promise to seek forgiveness and peace in whatever ways you lead me. Amen.”
Excerpted and adapted from Mending Broken Relationships: Building StrongOnes by John and Therese Boucher