“The sun will come up tomorrow.” A simple truth used as a simple assurance when something, simple or not, goes wrong. When a football team loses, romantic interest goes unrequited, or our vote falls as a tally on the losing side of an election, “the sun will come up tomorrow” tries to carry us past today’s pain.
Last night, elections delivered disappointing news to millions of Americans. But after all the crying, speeches, and confetti, sure enough, the sun came up this morning. It came up over Democrats leaving office in January and all their constituents who fear for the future of the country. Perhaps a few rolled over, wishing the day away a little longer. The sun came up on the GOP, too, whose supporters joyously embrace last night’s results. Perhaps a few were up before the sun as their celebration overflowed from one day to the next.
The sun, however, came up over more than just the parties of and those party to the 2014 midterm election. It came up over struggling families whose love serves as the only bond keeping reality together. It came up over successful families so devoid of love that the cold November sunrise brought the only warmth for which to be hoped. It came up over broken homes in which every sunrise is a cruel new reality.
The sun came up over the lonely and alienated, whether they slept alone or shared a bed a few inches from someone lightyears away.
The sun came up over those who knew the day only meant another round of struggling through decisions, purposelessness, and confusion before the gift of sleep comes again.
The sun came up those who didn’t know whether they would see it again after sleeping, the morning rays finding their way into hospitals and nursing homes where death lurked, and unsafe homes where abusers lurked.
The sun came up over the incarcerated, whether a long trajectory of mistakes, a moment of impassioned madness, the unfair assumptions of their fellow humans, or even feeding the homeless put the cuffs on their wrists.
The sun came up over those so hypnotized by the god of Americanism they genuinely believed the success or failure of the God of the universe’s plan to redeem Creation hinged in any way on what a few people wrote on a piece of paper last night. And if that delusion of grandeur doesn’t elicit at least a giggle, we’re probably a little dead inside.
The sun came up over the wet, cold, and broken whom the suits hurried past on their way to the election announcements. And if that doesn’t elicit a genuine sadness for what the sun sees when it rises, we’re definitely a little dead on the inside.
Two years ago, the Election Day sun went down on winners and losers, and came up over the brokenness and destruction. The winners and losers came and went, but the sun came up over our problems every day for two years.
God willing, the sun will keep coming up for the next two years. But God willing, the sun’s rays will illuminate for us the problems that linger on and on rather than the political winners and losers who fade so quickly. If we look closer, God’s sun will show us humans made in God’s image, obscured by the mud and mire of our problems. And if we give them even a fraction of the attention we give the winners and losers, then God willing, maybe the sun will come up on a better world two years from now when it comes up over a new bunch of winners and losers.