ONE thing I’m grateful for – that I’ll never run for President.
The opposing camp recruits armies of researchers to dig into your past, prowling the information superhighway archives like ravenous vultures, salivating at the inevitability of discovering evidence of you saying or doing something stupid or appalling and using it against you.
They’ll unearth footage of what you said a decade ago and use it against you today, as if it just came out of your mouth. They’ll broadcast grainy VHS videos of you to the entire world that are so old, you can barely be recognized.
The commercials were so inescapable, I don’t even have (live) television and I was exposed to them every time I blinked my eyes – YouTube, Hulu, on the radio, in the mailbox…
When I saw Trump mock and pantomime a man’s disability, it sent me into excruciating flashbacks of people mocking my speech disorder throughout my life. I instantly began to weep, both for that man and for myself, because I know how dehumanizing that is and how lonely that feels. It was so painful, whenever it aired after that, I could not watch it.
When he sat on that bus and spoke about women in the way he did, in a manner that’s below even the animals, I was disgusted, angered and even more certain I would never vote for him (and I didn’t).
Some of the clips were a year and a half old. Others from 10 years ago. Some from the 1980’s and 90’s.
They were gross. They were alarming. They were infuriating.
For the record, I personally did not vote for him. Or for her.
I am not running for public office. Words and actions have repercussions and demand accountability. The things Trump said on those ads are indefensible. The office of U.S. President is an enormous responsibility and we should want our President to be a man or a woman of outstanding, admirable character. Understood.
But as a fellow human being, the truth is, if footage existed, they could have just as easily gone back into my past and pulled out clip after clip of me saying and doing things that were even more horrible and atrociously indefensible.
In fact, isn’t that exactly what Satan has been doing to us every single day, whether we realize it or not?
He is described in Scripture as being the one who stands before God accusing His followers “day and night” of not loving Him, of not being true to Him; pulling out all the terrible, ghastly things we said and did four months ago, three years ago, two decades ago and trying to use it against us tonight?
The prophet Zechariah describing a scene so chilling, it makes the hairs on your arms stand up in even reading it – Satan standing before God, wagging a condemning finger at the high priest of the time, adorned in filthy garments, and loudly accusing him (and symbolically all the nation) of not loving God, of not being true to Him.
God, in His infinite love and mercy fiercely rebukes Satan to his face. He demonstrates the same beautiful outpouring of compassion of the Prodigal’s father in the parable, the filthy garments are removed from him, he’s clothed in royal apparel and His iniquities are taken away.
You see, when he accuses me day and night, he doesn’t have to make stuff up.
“Did You hear what he just did on this clip from March 15, 2009!?!?!?!?!? Did You see what David said on December 10, 1997!!!!!!!!!!!!!? He’s not good enough to go to heaven! He doesn’t even love You! Why the **** do you even bother with that guy? He loves me! He’s done plenty to spend eternity burning and weeping in the darkness with me. Look at how good he is at honoring me and not You! That must make You jealous. Look at all the horrible things he’s done!”
Guilty as charged.
Guilty as charged.
But when the Evidence Exhibits A to Z consist of sins I’ve turned away from in order to honor the will of God; when the footage is grainy, those accusations do not stick – for “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
That’s why the Good News is called the Good News. Because it’s so awesomely undeserved.
As for Trump or Hillary, it’s not my place to speak them into heaven or to speak them into hell. I don’t know if they have the assurance that I enjoy tonight.
I hope he saw those ads and was even more disgusted than we were and that he felt an acute remorse for them. I hope the Donald Trump in those ads is not the man who he truly is tonight.
But as for me? When attack ads on David Creek are being shoved in God’s face day and night, running as incessantly as the Presidential attacks ad aired, showcasing my humanity in all of its grotesque shame when I was at my absolute worst? Accused night and day, day and night of not loving Jesus, of not being true to Him, of being a wretched sinner?
Yes, I said those things. Yes, I did those things.
But thank God, that was a long time ago. Thank God, it’s been forgiven and cast out of my soul. Thank God that He’s seen all of the clips, He watched them live as they happened, but in His kindness, He cast it into the remotest, most distant depths of the sea.
Thank God, I’m not that person anymore.