The morning after: Why I'm weeping on this post-election day

Jen Bradbury
Nov 04 · 5 min read

This morning, I’ve been thinking a lot about the story of the Walk to Emmaus, which Luke tells at the end of his Gospel. The line I find most compelling in this story is when two disciples tell Jesus (whom they do not yet recognize) about Jesus' crucifixion and admit, “We had hoped”.

Today, that's how I feel. 

We had hoped.

We had hoped that Biden would win big to cast no doubt regarding the end of Trump’s regime.

We had hoped for change.

We had hoped that four years of Trump would be nothing more than a blip in America’s radar and that after that, we’d all come to our senses.

But alas.

At Noon on the day after the election, that’s not where we are.

So, today, I sit in this uncomfortable place of waiting. I feel what I imagine the disciples felt on the way to Emmaus: Shattered. Overwhelmed. Filled with despair.

For me, these feelings are manifesting themselves in tears (and baking).

Today, I weep because of how close this election is. I weep for a nation that turned out in droves, with millions of people voting to reelect President Trump, despite his blatant racism, corruption, divisiveness, and mishandling of a pandemic that has killed more than 200,000 Americans. As my friend, Morgan, said, "We don't know who won, but I'm confident America lost." Me too, Morgan. Me, too. 

I weep for the conflicted feelings I have every morning as I listen to my daughter proudly say the Pledge of Allegiance with her class via Zoom and wonder, Do I really want Hope pledging allegiance to the flag right now?  

I weep for all the people who are terrified of what will happen if President Trump somehow manages pulls out a victory.

I weep for my girls. I long for them to grow up in a country where the President is man (or better yet, a woman) of moral courage, decency, extraordinary leadership, and kindness.

I weep for Christians who seem unwilling to break ranks with this man, all because he’s given them pro-life judges despite how anti-life just about every other facet of his personal and political life have been.

I weep for all the times I’ve seen privileged people post on social media about how no matter what happens, “God’s got this!” Sure, God is sovereign. But saying “God’s got this!” trivializes the pain of so many; It’s a cop out for having to actually do the work of understanding, advocating, and fighting for real change.

I weep for the United States’ position in the world. Last night, our friends in Rwanda sent me a message of prayer, knowing how difficult today would likely be. They, like the rest of the world, are watching to see what happens in our country.

I weep for our democracy. I fear if Trump gets reelected, it’ll be the end of the democratic experiment in America.

So, today, I weep.

And I wait.   

And I try (but mostly fail) to cling to hope.