Losing is Hard

A Post Election Message

Losing is hard.

I’ve never participated in the circulation of memes mocking folks like Whoopi Goldberg and Bryan Cranston who said they’d leave the country if Trump won the election. I didn’t participate, and not because I wanted them to stick around. Personally, I think that the dear Lady Liberty that America is would be a much better off if she weren’t always scratching at her celebritous fleas. Still, I never participated because, quite simply, I was dealing honestly. I know how hard it is to lose. I know what it’s like to have a long-suffering and hopeful expectation for victory building in momentum over the course of what feels like a calendar-consuming “forever” suddenly become something else in a little more than an hour of election result postings.

Losing is hard. It hurts terribly. And if one is not careful, it can negatively recalibrate so much more than emotions. It can lead to some of the deeper, darker places that would see words spoken between people—between families, friends, and neighbors—and to have those relationships broken beyond repair.

Losing is hard. Forgiveness—real, down in the filth forgiveness—is too. Look to Christ on the cross and measure the effort to win our forgiveness. It wasn’t easy. It was hard. Now, I’m not talking about the perfect love that put Him there. It’s God’s innermost nature to love us and want to save us. It’s His alien work to punish. In His truest nature, when God looks upon us, He does so in love. I mean, when Adam fell into Sin, He didn’t crash down with a thundering voice, “What have you done?” But instead, He called out, “Where are you?” His first work was to find us in our shame and bring us back. Of course human love doesn’t even come close to this perfect love. It’s tainted, and it doesn’t guarantee forgiveness. I can, in a sense, love a friend, and yet never be rid of the gnat-like memories of the times they’ve hurt me. Forgiveness, like losing, is hard.

But by God’s grace, and perhaps strangely, there is the opportunity before so many of us to see that losing and forgiveness walk in stride. Losing means someone else stands above us on the pedestal in victory. Forgiveness means putting aside selfish pride to be the victor and existing in humility below another, too. I dare say that with forgiveness as the focal point of losing’s horizon, things can and will be okay.