No matter how we feel about it, this time next week, our country will have a new president. If you had a chance to meet with him – and confidence that he would actually listen to what you had to say- what would you talk to him about?
I know how it would go for me. First his handler would introduce us, we’d sit down, I’d open my mouth to speak…and then I’d burst into tears. Speaking to a person I have so many feelings about on a subject I feel so passionate about would be a guaranteed disaster. Maybe I’d write a letter- talk to him like I’d talk to anyone, try to expect the best from him and see what might happen.
As I went on a walk around my neighborhood today, I worked out in my head what I might write. See what you think.
Dear Mr. Trump,
Last night I was watching the latest episode of Sherlock on television and I thought of you. Have you seen it? I recommend it to everyone so I guess I’ll share it with you too. It’s earned all sorts of awards, a Golden Globe and some Emmys. You might like it if you like mysteries. Anyway, I thought of you near the end of the episode. (Actually, I’m going to be honest with you and admit that I thought of you at the beginning of the episode, too, when they introduce the villain. Sorry, but he’s a rich guy who’s a businessman and a television star, a showman, a real bulldog.) But back to the story…
Near the end of the episode, there is a scene between the two main characters, Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, in which John, who is still up to his neck in grief over the recent loss of his wife, realizes that Sherlock is refusing to let himself begin a romantic relationship with a woman who has texted him, a lady he’s interested in. “You bloody moron,” John says to Sherlock. “She’s out there, she likes you, and she’s alive, and do you have the first idea of how lucky you are?” Watson spends a few minutes berating Sherlock, while Mary (who is dead, but still visible to John Watson) walks around the room and adds comments. John says, “Text her, phone her, do something while there’s still a chance, because the chance doesn’t last forever. Trust me, Sherlock, it’s gone before you know it.” Then, as dead Mary looks on, Watson says, “She [Mary] was wrong about me. She thought if you’d put yourself in harm’s way, I’d rescue you or something. But I didn’t-not until she told me to. That’s how this works. That’s what you’re missing. She taught me to be the man she already thought I was. Get yourself a piece of that.”
Stick with me, Mr. Trump. I’m almost to my point. She taught me to be the man she already thought I was. That is what love does. That’s what great leadership does. A great leader stops looking at himself and worrying about whether people respect him or think he’s the greatest winner or greatest president God has ever created. They stop looking in the mirror and look hard into the people they’re leading. They look into their eyes and they see VALUE. They see the value and gifts in a person and so appreciate and respect and love them that the person can’t help but want to rise up to become the person the leader believes them to be. You want excellence? You want to make America great? (Sorry, but I can’t bring myself to add “again” because I look around America and it already looks great to me.) This is what you have to do. And on a grand scale.
For this to happen, Mr. Trump, you have to recognize the value of all people. You have to see EACH PERSON as someone who matters. Surely you do, deep down. Look at all of us, not just your billionaire and millionaire friends, and see that we are valuable, just as we are. Listen to us, listen with no words, Mr. Trump. Listen as people tell you their own American history stories, memories of sacrifices people have made for our country, of the way they’ve shared with each other and supported each other, stood up for each other and called out evil. Listen to the stories of how some of us have suffered- how some suffer still-and yet still refuse to give up. See that we have the capacity for goodness. Then call us, in love and respect, to rise up and be the best selves that we have inside.
If you’re wondering if this will sell, if people will go for this, people will, if your motives are true and pure, if you’re not out for yourself, but really want good for ALL.
Mr. Trump, you have said that your faith is important to you. Look at Jesus and how he loved others, and how that love transformed their lives. This is the LOVE which has the power to transform our lives still, our country and the world. Study this love. Paul gives lessons on it in 1 Corinthians 13. (That’s FIRST Corinthians, not One Corinthians. Haha, just a joke, Mr. Trump.)
If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. We know you know and understand a lot of things. But that’s not enough. You’ve got to have love, Mr. Trump.
3 If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast,[a] but do not have love, I gain nothing. No one is asking you to give away all your stuff. But even if you did, it wouldn’t earn you favor with God without love.
4 Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant 5 or rude. I know. That’s a tough list. But God can help any of us learn to love like that.
It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; Another toughie. It’s hard not to want your own way.
6 it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. This kind of love will help you. It will help all of us!
8 Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. 9 For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; 10 but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly,[b] but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. 13 And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.
This kind of love is the GREATEST, Mr. Trump. It’s HUGE!
I will be praying for you, Mr. Trump, in the years ahead.