Once my husband was at work and I settled in at home, I began Star Wars mission #1 of the day: Rootleaf Stew. When Jacob and I threw ourselves a Star Wars themed party to celebrate our first anniversary of marriage, we ate Yoda's Rootleaf Stew and loved it. However, we hadn't made it since then, even though we have been talking about it for the past few months. I decided that Star Wars Day would be a perfect opportunity to surprise Jacob with this dish, and by late morning, a lovely pot was simmering on the stove.
While the apartment was filling with strains of the Star Wars soundtrack and wonderful smells of turmeric, ginger, and coriander, I decided to check social media. Not only did I want to see the inevitable Star Wars memes and video clips, but I also wanted to read news articles about the election. The night before, I read that Ted Cruz was suspending his campaign, and in the wake of this announcement, I was interested to see what was happening in the political world.
I was completely unprepared to see the internet abounding in rumors and reports from "anonymous sources" that John Kasich was also suspending his campaign. I'm not going to pay attention to rumors, I decided. However, late in the afternoon I watched Mr. Kasich's live address and heard it from his own mouth: he was suspending his campaign. As social media and the internet exploded for the next several hours, I observed a variety of reactions. Many people-from both sides of the political spectrum-seemed convinced that Bernie Sanders does not stand a chance against Hillary Clinton, and so they presented Trump and Clinton as the inevitable, and only, options in the forthcoming election.
Some people were angry.
Some people were despairing.
Some people declared that they will not vote in the election.
Some people-who had been opposed to Mr. Trump-suddenly began trying to find and extol virtues and positive aspects of him, so that they could justify supporting him over Clinton.
Overall, there was an incredibly large amount of hopelessness, powerlessness, and resignation.
I pushed back from my laptop screen, struck with the irony of the situation.
On a day of political craziness and hopelessness, countless individuals were commemorating Star Wars. And what, I ask, is the name of Star Wars Episode IV, the movie that has introduced multitudes of people to the galaxy of Luke, Han, and Leia?
A New Hope.
The saga of Star Wars is filled with many themes, but one that always jumps out at me is the theme of persevering, enduring hope. Even in the darkest times, when the Empire was trying to snuff out freedom and justice, hope still remained. There were rebels who clung to their freedom and fought for their rights and beliefs. When the First Order was wrecking destruction across the galaxy and Luke Skywalker was no where to be found, there was still hope. Even if the Resistance was struggling and vastly outnumbered, they fought on, refusing to complacently accept the horrors that were being pushed into their lives.
Today, as we try to pull together pieces of our lives to retain sanity, I invite you to step back and think about these things. God's timing is always perfect, and I think it is such an immense blessing that so much political chaos would ensue on Star Wars Day, so that we can recall the hope and redemption in this fictional saga and bring it into our own lives. Furthermore, instead of having our lives bound together with an intangible Force, we rely on a God who passionately loves and cares for us. Trusting in Him, we can prayerfully continue to fight for Truth and Goodness in our society.
For those of you who feel doomed by the events of this election, who feel as if the only option is to vote for a candidate whom you strongly disagree with or not at all, I ask you to reconsider. Place a constant hope and trust in God, not the political system. Hold yourself back from a hasty judgement of outrage, and consider alternative options, like a third party candidate. I know that many people feel they can't make a difference in this election-but I want you to know that you can. So many people are disillusioned by recent events, and resort to isolating themselves behind their computer screens as they spread snarky memes or despairing statuses across the internet. It's time that we stop isolating ourselves and join together! Pray, connect, and dialogue. We can't accomplish anything without prayer and God's guidance, and we also can't accomplish anything if we resign ourselves to sitting alone on our couches while incessantly wailing that "We're all doomed and outnumbered!"