There are a lot of people who are angry right now. Really angry. I know people who are angry at the media, angry at democrats, angry at republicans, angry at Christians, angry at Muslims.

The sheer volume of energy that’s been expended in negative feelings lately just boggles my mind. How is any of it helpful?

It doesn’t help that the reporting of just about anything lately has become incredibly selective – each side clings only to the news stories that fit the narrative they’ve already chosen to believe. Anything that doesn’t fit the narrative must be false. It all makes me very sad, knowing how uninformed we’ve all become on just about every issue, because we are intentionally blocking out information that we don’t agree with.

I’m trying to stay informed. I read things posted by both liberals and conservatives. I listen to the accounts of people who attended marches on Saturday and Sunday, and I watched the coverage of the inauguration. In the midst of all of this, I really struggle to find others that I can connect with about all of this political mess we seem to be in.

I’m a conservative who’s not a fan of our current president, but I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. I’m also a quasi-liberal who is very much pro life (the life of the unborn child AND the mother AND everyone else). I firmly believe that my faith should inform my politics, not the other way around, and I am frustrated by both political parties and their ideologies.

When I voted in this election, I prayed for a very long time. Then when I voted (borrowing this imagery from a friend), it felt like pulling the pin on a grenade and praying that the explosion wouldn’t be terrible. I would have felt that way regardless of which candidate I chose, so please don’t somehow interpret this as a clue to who I voted for.

I firmly support the right to march of everyone who chose to do so this weekend – both those who marched on Saturday and those who joined in the Right to Life march on Sunday. This is a fundamental right given to us by the constitution. I was disappointed by some of the speakers (as were many others) from Saturday’s march, but encouraged by some of the posts I saw from people who were in the crowds.

Likewise, I was disappointed that there were politicians who opted out of the inauguration on Friday, but encouraged by the peaceful transition of power and how classy both the outgoing and incoming first families were.

Every president America has ever had, and ever will have, is a sinful human being. I recognize that each man who has held the office has faults and failings. But I also reflect on the good I’ve seen from past presidents, both republican and democrat. I am praying for our current president, even as I struggle with concerns about his character. I pray that others will start to see how they contribute to the divisions in our country and start a dialogue towards peace. It’s not going to be possible if each side keeps digging in their heels and refusing to budge an inch. The only way to come together is to meet in the middle and bring our values and central concerns to the table, and really TALK about them – and really LISTEN to what the other folks have to say.

Lord Jesus, help me to keep listening.