A walk on the beach on Election Day couldn’t help but ease the underlying anxiety of what the day may bring. And as it turned out, the need was real.
Although it was a stunningly beautiful warm day for November, there were only a few of us on the sandy shore, part of the reason we find Popham Beach which is about 10 minutes from our home, so magical. Dodi was comfortably nestled in my backpack since she has trouble walking on the sand and Captain Punem was at my heels. A woman about my age came alongside to admire the pugs, so we walked together and talked.
I can’t say it was a divine appointment, although quite random and interesting. For as she spoke it became clear that she was rather New Agey in her thinking. What had brought her to the beach that day was a belief that Fox Island, which is the island one can walk to during low tide, stands on a grid that connects love through touch points around the globe. She felt it her mission that day to walk the beach on that grid to bring love into a world so shattered by divisiveness.
Okay, that sounds a little crazy, right? And she was actually quite normal otherwise – a retired nurse, currently remodeled her kitchen, believes in the importance of good nutrition, pondering how to live on retirement savings and Social Security if her “life partner” retires. She and Bill, also a fairly normal guy in many ways, felt something special at my favorite beach and had enjoyed its beauty for decades.
It’s actually quite unusual for someone to come alongside another and walk (for 2 miles!) together when on the beach, presumably each of us there to quietly experience solitude. I’ve had people comment on my dogs before and keep walking, but not until this day did someone stay with me for such a long time.
Later, as I struggled with the Election Day results drama, and yes, personally, with the result, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the random encounter with MaryAnn at the beach. We were most likely worlds apart about religious beliefs and yet both on common ground with the importance of love to heal this world. I don’t know who her preferred candidate was, but her focus was the need to love each other, even and especially those with whom we disagree.
Isn’t that what we are here to do? Spread God’s love and love our enemies? Perhaps as that becomes more difficult we are called all the more to persevere, to love the unlovable. By not focusing on our differences but rather on our likenesses we can more easily love another. President Obama’s statement that this is an intramural scrimmage does resonate and is an analogy we as Messianic Jews are quite familiar with. Hate and words of hate are designed to label and separate. Love and words of love bring HaShem into the conversation, to be understood by each of us in the ways He is working to have us hear Him, each of us on a spiritual journey to grow closer to our Creator.
I don’t mean to downplay that we are living in extraordinary times and there is most likely a greater significance to the election results than we may want to contemplate. There is an inexplicable mystery at work. But for now, for us and our role, I’m choosing love, combined with meaningful actions, as the way to keep on truckin’.