In the last several weeks leading up to the Presidential election – and in the few weeks following it – I’ve found myself so spiritually distracted that I’ve hardly been able to pray. So invested have I been in the outcome, that little else has permeated my mind or heart. I will not attempt to conceal my strong preference for the President to be re-elected. In fact, it has been easy for me to justify my nearly constant preoccupation with his potential victory, even as it has eclipsed my prayer time, with the conviction that this is a spiritual battle. A war waged between good and evil. An election of monumental proportions, one that surely reaches up to Heaven itself.
As the results dribbled forth in the wee hours of November 4, I felt victory slipping from my grasp. I began praying eagerly for a turn-around. Though I have long resisted the urge to implore God’s intervention in competitions or races, I nevertheless persisted in my somewhat desperate pleas for divine aid this time. When I finally went to bed, deflated and bewildered, I wondered where God had been. Why had he let his children down, we who had championed this President for his strong pro-life stance, his appeal to our Judeo-Christian roots, his frequently recited petition, “God bless America”?
I know Trump is flawed. I readily admit this to my friends and family, many of whom reject him outright despite his appeals to faith. I concede that Trump – albeit through the oft-distorted lens of a co-opted media – comes across to many as pompous and boorish, with claims of an adulterous past; a ruthless and cunning businessman who has no qualms about dismissing colleagues for even the appearance of disloyalty – or so his public persona at times signifies; a man who employs demeaning nicknames and harsh mantras (“Lock her up!”) to get across his point. But, I reason, he’s a tool in God’s hands, doing God’s work despite his own severe shortcomings. Donald Trump can, and rightly has been, compared to the Persian King Cyrus who was prompted by God to rebuild the Jewish temple so the Hebrews could resume worship. If God could use a pagan like Cyrus to accomplish his tasks, why not employ Trump to carry out his divine plans?