by Louise Sandberg
I thank God that I had my IVC gathering the day after the election. Also that my IVC animator, Fr Damian, had led a prayer vigil the Sunday before the election. Our coordinator, Maryellen, shared with our group that she is glad to be with good people. She looked relieved to be with us.
I shared with my group what happened in my meditation during the vigil because it has been comforting me. I was very disturbed with all the mudslinging, with the racism, the disparaging of whole groups of people, with the deceit, the pettiness, the failure to address real issues, with the failure to protect the poor and the vulnerable, the immigrants, the attitudes toward women and the unborn, and with the enormous egos involved. And in the groups I run with marginalized women and immigrants, I saw fear. My concern for those I minister to in IVC and my desire to hear God more clearly in this election brought me to the vigil.
My prayer started with some focus on the candidates and asking God to help them do God’s will. It became clear that God had another idea. I heard “just love them.” This idea had not occurred to me.
I spent the first half hour loving Donald Trump. It was easier than I thought. I felt compassion for him. I saw his anger as brokenness. God gave me golden bandages to wrap him in. I wrapped his mouth twice and left his ears open. It was very healing for me to dress his woundedness. I came to believe that he could be healed of some of his anger. I started to have hope and peace.
In my half hour with Hillary, I loved her commitment to families and the poor. I asked for healing to her approach to the unborn.
When I opened my eyes I saw 4 candles on the altar, one for each presidential candidate and vice. I saw that the candle light was God’s light. I also felt that God was going to ignite that light to a blaze of zeal for public service in the winner of the election. The new president was going to have to learn how to be the servant of ALL the people of the whole United States.
Since that prayer, I have seen evidence of change and evidence of failure to hear God. I dreamed last night that I was helping Donald choose his cabinet. I insisted that we pray before choosing. Of course I heard the same invitation from God, “Just love them.” So my job seems to be to love them.
I continue to hope that the golden gauze will heal all the wounds left by this election. I invite God to maximize the grace that Donald needs to be the president and public servant that God is inviting him to be. “With great power comes great responsibility,” as Spiderman says. “The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted,” as Jesus says. (Matthew 23:11-12)
I have to be the first to be humble. I don’t pretend to know the answers to all these challenges, except that God keeps telling me that the answer is to love. So I love the women I am working with to the best of my ability, gathering commitments for them for people to help them for Christmas. I help my friend who had surgery this weekend and has to stay with us because she cannot stay alone. I listen to my friends concerns and share some of the golden gauze with them. And I remember to love is more important than to fix.
Louise M. Sandberg is a IVC Spiritual Reflector and Volunteer, as Director of the Mary & Elizabeth Center which reaches out to women in need on Long Island, NY. She is a pediatric home care nurse and facilitates Wildflower groups for women healing from childhood abuse, praying for healing of feelings and memories.