This seemed like a very appropriate quote today. It’s the day after the Canadian federal election, and more than a few people—especially those of us in the west—are feeling disappointed at the results. But whether you voted Liberal or Conservative, Green or Christian Heritage, I want to remind everyone that the government does not have the power to save us. Policies will not save us.
As I watch the world become more and more polarized, I am more convinced more than ever that the answer is not to fix the Other. "If only the other side were more compassionate, more open-minded, more tolerant! Then maybe we could fix our country." NO!! If we wait for others to change their minds while our own hearts are hardened, the world can only descend into chaos. For at the heart of every grievance, right or left, is the desire to be treated with dignity and love. That is something you can do right here, right now, as you are. Maybe you can't change the laws on abortion today, but maybe you can offer to babysit a struggling mother's kids. Maybe you can't change immigration policy today, but maybe you can introduce yourself to the new family in your neighbourhood. Perhaps a friend or family member is being belligerent about their political views, but you can respond with kindness. For hearts and minds aren't changed by political parties but in individual interactions, when we feel heard and understood and loved.
The government can't save us, but Jesus can. Be the face and voice and heart of Jesus to the people you meet today. Then perhaps we can begin to make our country great again.
"The ultimate test of your greatness is how you treat every human being."
—Pope Saint John Paul II