I was working from home when the news broke that extremists breached the U.S. Capital. The pro-Trump protestors decry a fair democratic election. They have shouted “Stop the steal” and, as I write, the situation is unstable. Law enforcement officers will stop the mayhem. The U.S. Congress will confirm the results of the November election.
The scenes of chaos plastered across television and phone screens do not represent America. “We the people” come together out of many to make one country. E pluribus unum. As we watch this insurrection, we cannot let the actions of a few people undermine the great accomplishments of the American experiment. Instead of letting the violence grab our attention, we must stand for peace and unity.
This is a moment for people of faith to pray. Lift up the law enforcement officers to God. Pray for their safety. Pray for the elected officials to have the courage to do the task given to them by the U.S. Constitution. Pray that God would soften the hearts of the protestors and those that stoke the fires of fear and division.
People of faith can also speak truth in love. Social media carries the weight of spreading misinformation and is the tool of choice for division. When Christ-followers see posts that are hateful or pull people apart, we can say something. This does not mean getting into a social-media-shouting-match. It might mean sharing a story that fact-checks misinformation. Or, we can comment on a post, “It would be great if we could all come together.”
This is a horrifying moment in the U.S. Yet, we do not have to let it define us. Let us be defined by our efforts at peacemaking. We can be known for our love for one another and our compassion for those who have less than we do. Let us pray for peace as we seek positive ways to respond.