God, the President and me

The President in one of his better moods

Our activities director recently arranged for residents to see a movie titled “Amazing Love.” It featured the story of the OT prophet Hosea who believed that God wanted him to marry a prostitute. There can be no doubt that though Hosea loved the prostitute he must not have liked her unfaithfulness to him.  When she was sold as a slave, Hosea bought her and took her home, not because he had grown to like her, but because of his foolish love for her.

There is a an ocean of difference between love and like. The Bible view of God is of One who does not like us, but nevertheless loves us and sent Jesus to save us.   Remember that golden text that declares that God so loved the world that he gave his son that we might not  perish.

I like the statue of German Immigrants; I love Rachel, my daughter. Do you see her?

Is not this the mystery of the Gospel.  God loves Donald Trump as much as I am loved, although there is much about Donald’s behavior, and mine, that God does not like. Even I, finite as I am, do not like Donald Trump and sometimes I don’t like me very well.  I am trying to love Trump as God loves me.  I am reminded of a nursery rhyme that jumps at me out of childhood memories.  I think I can hear my mother saying it.  If I understand correctly, the author was a student at Oxford and Dr. Fell was the dean of the University.  It was first published with a collection of other nursery rhymes in 1926, the year I was born. Here it is:

I do not like thee, Dr. Fell.
The reason why I cannot tell,
But this I know, and know full well,
I do not like thee, Dr. Fell.

I like the red wagon; I love the boy. He is Javier, my great grandson


Since the Bible asks me to love everyone, I’ll try to love Donald Trump the way God loves him and me.  Yet,”this I know and know full well, I do not like thee, Donald Trump” I do not like his behavior toward anyone who opposes him. I do not like the way he treats women, the poor, the weak, immigrants, or innocent dreamers. The Lord loves them all. We should beware of becoming like the President because I’ve been warned that Trump-ism is as easily caught as an out-of-control virus.  As an antidote for Trump-like arrogance I offer the following words from Peter’s epistle for us to mull over.

Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. . . . Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.

About Martin Lehman

I was born 92 years ago, the son of a Mennonite pastor and organic gardener in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. At age 10 I was baptized as a member of the Marion Mennonite Church. I own the "Old Fool" moniker because I want to walk the Jesus Way even though the world and much of the church takes me as a fool for doing so. In my life I have moved from being a young conservative to an elderly radical. I tell that story in My Faith Journey posted on my website.
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2 Responses to God, the President and me

  1. Sam Troyer says:

    Wow, very well said brother. I too will try hard to flesh out these words, after all love they say is a verb.

  2. Freda Zehr says:

    Thank you Martin, for this perfect advice. I needed to hear it. I had a dear christian lady say to me that God knew that we needed a “christian” president like Donald Trump, and she was praising God for getting rid of the heathen, Obama. I have learned to keep a hold on my thoughts and on my words since this election, and I thought a while before I responded to her, and then I said quietly, “I am trying so had to find out just why so many people talk about how terrible Obama was, what exactly did he do that you think he was a terrible president” and asked for her response on that question. She did not even take a moment to think, but immediately responded, ” You don’t know? why he brought in gay marriage, and abortion, and he is a muslim. I can’t believe you did not know this”. There were a lot of things I wanted to say in return, but I just thanked her for telling me, and now that I read your post tonight, I am going to follow your advice.

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