The State of Our Union… (Dear Susan 11-18-2016)

Like most people in our nation, I awoke last week to learn Donald Trump was our new president-elect.

I’d like to say that I was surprised.

But, I wasn’t.

Donald Trump is a very strategic business man and quantifiable “deal maker.” He knew exactly what to say and how to say it to get elected.

Living in the “deep south” I heard again and again the hatred for Hillary Clinton and the Clintons in general. Still, living in the Bible Belt, I was rather amused at the hypocrisy at which “Christians” spoke when making a moral case for Trump.

Trump is many things to many people but I have no doubt his campaign ultimately succeeded on a platform of hate.

His continual tweets against Muslims, minorities, women and anyone not the “right white” were so incredulous, most journalists and half of America couldn’t take him seriously.

The joke, however, was on us.

No one else was talking to the “alt-right” steering clear of an extremism culture that since the election has become emboldened and validated, believing disregard for those unlike themselves is not only their right but now a privilege.

There are so many ways to view this election, still my prayer is Trump supporters who can’t comprehend the angst this election has wrought will at least be willing to take a glimpse at it from the other side.

“Why Racism Won This Election” by Jason Cushman clearly puts into words “the current state of our Union”

I don’t believe everyone who voted for Donald Trump is racist.

But make no mistake that each vote to “Make America Great Again” did not carry a disclaimer to the nationalists, extremists and white supremacists who ultimately edged Trump into the White House.

They think you are one of them.

I challenge you to prove them wrong.

the-sate-of-our-union-11182016 If you aren’t part of the problem, become part of the solution.

Trump claims he wants to bring the nation together again. That remains to be seen, but my hope is not in him.

My hope rests with God.

God uses those things thought “foolish” to confound the wise. I believe God can use anyone, even Trump, to fulfill His purpose.

Our “one nation under God” has spent far too much time placing our hopes and dreams in a person (or people) and not enough effort in reverence and obedience to God.

How do we do that?

I certainly don’t hold all the answers; yet, I do believe that obeying God’s commandment to love Him and love one another would be a definitive step in the right direction.

Prayer also works.

We should do it more, and not just for ourselves but for our “neighbors” and our nation.

Love can conquer hate.

If we allow it.

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. James 3:9-10 NIV

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness. James 3:17-18 NIV

By Lilka Finley Raphael

Author, Editor, Gardner, Photographer, Pharmacist


  1. Trump didn’t win because of racism… Mitt Romney won 59% of the white vote, but Trump won 58% of the white vote — less than Romney. Romney won 6% of the black vote, and Trump won 8% of the black vote — an increase of 2%. Trump also increased Romney’s gains with Latinos and Asians, a gain that he would have lost the election had he not gotten it. God Bless. E

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for adding your voice to the conversation!
      In regards to your percentages, I’m not sure what I believe as our “hacked” not hacked political process seems to change daily. I don’t think we will know what truly happened for several years. I do think Trump did receive the increase in black voters (as compared to Romney) due to his promises to make more jobs available.

      I suspect Trump’s promises to build walls and deport people made some people who ordinarily would not vote or had not participated in the political process before actually come out and do so. I don’t think the victory rallies with confederate flags flying high and rallies in other countries with people saluting him (in a fashion similar to Hitler) would have occurred with any other candidate winning. I also think Trump said what he thought would push disenfranchised workers (blaming minorities for the country’s problems) to gain votes.
      If his cabinet choices are any indication I think Trump may have done a “use them and lose them” but that remains to be seen. Most of his potential cabinet appointees are quite affluent and I do not really see them being able to relate to the average citizen of any color having not had to deal with the financial challenges many Americans face. We will just have to wait and see.
      Regardless, thanks for joining the conversation and please continue to do so! Blessings to you!


      1. Thanks as well for replying. Don’t you think it’s a bit unfair comparing Trump to Hitler? I don’t think Trump wants to gas anyone. Regarding his cabinet, Trump appointed more women (6) then any other president ever has, even Obama. God Bless

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I wasn’t comparing Trump to Hitler. I was referring to the people in other countries hailing him (arm outstretched and all) after his victory. The “nationalist” movement is gaining ground in Europe as well as the U.S. I don’t care for Trump but I would not compare him to Hitler.


      3. I really can’t speak of what is good for Europe as I can barely keep track of everything going on in the U.S.
        What I will say is policies implemented that do not “love thy neighbor” may seem good in theory but are in direct contrast to God’s command. No amount of rationalization is going to change that fact. A lot of what God commands us to do isn’t always easy and requires sacrifice on our part. Our motives will ultimately be judged…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Lilka, I have not visited you in a while and wanted to drop by to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving, having no idea about your letters and this discussion, some of which I’ve now read as my time has allowed this evening. Living in American for almost 20 years, with dual citizen kids, my heart goes out to America right now. We in the UK, of course, are still reeling since Brexit, and the racist and bigoted views it has polarised against Eastern European and Middle Eastern immigrants in particular. The news here is full of the protests and riots since Trump’s election.
    I was talking to my dear friend in CA about it all and I asked what she thought was the big swing in Trump’s favour. Her grandchildren are mixed race, her daughter and son in law Christians, and they voted for Trump because of his pro life stand and because of those he will nominate as Justices. I will never understand racism, I don’t get it and never will. But I know that sounds naive. One thing too, it’s laughable (but also damaging) that Trump seems to have befriended Nigel Farage, the one time UKIP leader here who lied to and was believed by many who voted to leave the EU, based on keeping out immigrants. What kind of message does that send to the world about us? Everybody I know thinks Farage is a joke, but he isn’t our Prime Minister which is a good thing. But thanks to his nationlistic and populist rhetoric, many who come from immigrant families but are born and bred British have started to question their place here, in their very home, feeling insecure and isolated. How can this help a multi cultural society? It only creates more divide and mistrust.
    I haven’t been able to keep involved with blogging as much as I would like but I am working hard on my memoir which takes me away from a lot these days, but please know I’m praying for you and your family and for all of America, a country so very dear to my heart. What comfort we have from knowing God is in control, knowing we can turn to Him during these turbulent and troubling times. I hope you enjoy a peaceful and blessed and Happy Thanksgiving my dear friend. Love and peace to you ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sherri it is so good to hear from you! I did see where Trump and Farage were friends?! I kept tabs on Brexit and the outcome did make me think that America was next. If I didn’t have faith that God is in control the whole lot of it all would drive me crazy!
      I’m so glad you now have time to work on your memoir, and do keep at it. Do enjoy the holiday season as it creeps upon us with your family and friends. Peace, love and prayers for all of you! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh Lilka, we would surely faint without the Lord wouldn’t we? What times we live in. We watch closely from both sides of the sea, and keep praying, hard…
        Thank you, and you too, it’s important to remember to enjoy the run up isn’t it? Too easy to get caught up in the stress of things, the days flying by. I’ll see you soon my friend…I hope you had a beautiful Thanksgiving. Love, peace and prayers for all of you too! 🙂 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks so much Sherri! I feel a bit like Alice down the rabbit hole. Regardless I will try to stay focused and count my blessings. I am really trying to enjoy the season, focus on family and friends and enjoy their company.
        My head begins to spin with a each news article. I think the entire election process had caused many to get off balance. I’m really trying to stay sane! We will continue our prayers. Enjoy the season of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Much love to you.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Oh Lilka, I am so glad you are focusing on all that is stable and good in your life, especially at this joyous season, as we make it and I know you do! I wish I could sit down with you and share a cup of Chistmas cheer! We can do so virtually, the next best thing! Thank you so much my dear friend, we will indeed keep praying and the very same to you for this blessed season of hope. Much love to you…God bless you…and keep sane!!! Sherri ❤ xoxo

        Liked by 1 person

  3. We should become wiser about choosing our battles when we have a spiritual awakening like this.
    Although many people are showing their true colors I have a sense there’s much we still can’t see.
    I was surprised he won but I wasn’t surprised to how people are responding with hate.
    “Make America Great Again” to me that means everything that’s happening.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree there is certainly a larger picture that we will just have to “wait and see.” You are correct in regards to wisdom and battles. We have to have faith that God will take care of those things beyond ourselves. B Blessed and have a Wonderful Thanksgiving

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Lilka, it was refreshing to read your words. I was surprised that Trump won. This election followed the most divisive election season I’ve ever seen, and I honestly chose to remove myself from most of it. It became too draining. The reason I did this was because I knew Who is ultimately in control. Our Father. I voted. And I trusted. He knows the plans He has for our nation. And I’m seeing, more than ever before, the necessity of prayer for our president-elect and those who will be leading our country for the next four years.

    I loved what you said here: “Our “one nation under God” has spent far too much time placing our hopes and dreams in a person (or people) and not enough effort in reverence and obedience to God.” You’re so right. We need to place our hope in the only One who can uphold them.

    Have a good Thanksgiving!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Welcome to the bridge Lilka! I am so glad you joined me. I am not really sure where to begin so I will tell you a little bit about myself and you can respond however you like, with what ever questions you like.

    While I live in Madison, MS, just north of Jackson, I was born in Baton Rouge; the deep, deep South. My family was really no different than any other white family in the 1950’s with the exception of my Dad. While my aunts and uncles and cousins and friends made all kinds of jokes and derogatory name-callings of black people my precious Dad stood up against them. He was ridiculed and treated with a great disrespect for doing so. Never the less he continued. He taught my two brothers and me that all people are equal in God’s eyes and that all are due respect regardless of color.

    Through the years I have always remembered his lessons on this matter. Like most people, of any color, I have had my times of frustration and, yes, even anger with black people.

    I read and hear so much about how “we need to come together and have a conversation.” As I look around, I see no one really doing that. There have been some really good blogs posted, with genuinely great replies, but there is never any real, and in depth, conversation toward healing. Susan asked me to write a reply to your questions and so I did. She then challenged me to step on this bridge and start a conversation. I wasn’t sure I wanted to at first, but then I have prayed about it. I felt led to reach out to you and I hope this is the beginning of closing that awful gap that separates us. It is time we have this conversation no matter how uncomfortable. Perhaps this is just the beginning of a lot of folks healing.

    I feel sometimes, like I am an outsider looking in. I see both races treating each other with disdain and hatred. Using evil to spew their vicious animosity. I fight with myself to stay away from it, but admit to you there have been times I have lost. I believe, however, this feeling starts at home. It is with this understanding, taught by Dad, that I feel certain we “can” come together, not as different races but as brother and sister in Christ regardless of our differences and misgivings. In so doing we can then take our resolve to others. We can begin to teach in the home. I am not sure how but I think we should set some guidelines about different subjects. Maybe you can lead this. I think it important to discuss issues in their full context before moving on to the next.

    I believe your discussion on Susan’s blog, asking questions about why white people do not understand certain things about black mothers, could be a good place to start. What kind of things do you feel we do not understand? I would like to hear your heart first, and then move on to questions.

    I love that you will be dragging others to our conversation. I will send out a post after we get started to invite others too. I know Keith Haney on WordPress at (also from Baton Rouge, now in Chicago) would love to you join us. I think, too, that we should encourage others to be a part of the conversation and join in on questions, or, maybe not to begin with? What do you think? Would you like to have this conversation on your blog, or mine? We can welcome others to “The Bridge” and call this conversation by that name. Would love to hear your ideas.

    I am excited about this new direction in my life. I pray God will work in and through us to heal and close the divide.

    Your Brother,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And,
      First off thanks for joining us! When Susan asked me about it, I was a bit hesitant as social issues really were not a topic I was trying to write about but I felt that nudge from God to take on the challenge.
      Growing up in the era he did, your father was pretty courageous to go against the grain and stand firm by his convictions. I’m sure it wasn’t easy. However, doing so raised kids that would at least have an open mind toward God’s other children.
      The one thing about tackling a topic like this is its almost like preaching to the choir. Most of the responses we have received have been very positive. Brothers and Sisters in Christ eventually mature (hopefully) and become colorblind.
      Our nation has become quite disjointed especially since the election. I think there are so many fragments in our society that feel they do not have a voice.
      Trust me, black people get angry with black people too.
      There are so many generalizations and mere “snippets” of people in the media that unless we establish genuine relationships, I don’t think we can grow to see people beyond what is displayed (and often incorrectly) in the media.

      I think I may have an idea. If you could forward me your email I’d greatly appreciate it. Or, you can contact me at I look forward to hearing from you and meeting you on The Bridge 🙂


  6. April, (

    I was typing too fast and your comment vanished!

    However I do agree that not all Trump voters are haters of people. I agree most voters were picking a candidate that was closest to their views if imperfect. It is the extremist sect that worries me the most. Your post today had the theme (no other god can save in this way, referring to Daniel) and it is my prayer that God would be glorified even in the midst of of our crazy election. I appreciate you taking time to stop by and comment!


  7. Absolutely! I agree with you that God can use Donald Trump to fulfil HIS purpose. As the Word of God says: the King’s (or ruler’s) heart is in His hand and he will turn it wherever he chooses. It is for God’s people to now pay heed to 2 Chronicles 7:14 and PRAY, so giving God a platform from which to work.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amen! I think the collective prayers of our nation could bring about so much good. We can continue to hope and pray for God’s will and revelation in the midst of this. Thanks so much for joining the conversation! B Blessed!


  8. Dear Lilka,
    I pray every Trump supporter who reads your powerful words will take up the challenge you issue. Your post gives me renewed courage, and reason to hope in God and God’s work on our behalf whether through or around us. We aren’t alone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Elouise, our God is ever present! Now not the time to shrink back in fear but to pray and actively try to love one another and this nation to the point of unification. We can do much when we simply take the first step and try. Thanks for joining the conversation.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I was a Trump voter. I really had one huge compelling reason why. I truly thought he would get things done in Washington. I wanted an outsider who would look at everything differently. I think he will.

    I also could not vote for Hillary. Besides being a consummate lair, I could not support her because I would never support anyone who thinks a baby can be killed right up to the day of delivery.

    As for the platform of hate, i dd not like that at all. It was a strategy by a brilliant business man to get publicity and votes, and it worked all the way to the White House. II truly believe you will see his tone change now that he is elected, and the things he said that were seen as hateful will be softer than he stated.

    As to the reaction of the people who are rioting, they need too be held accountable for anything they do that is illegal. Saying it is Trumps fault they are rioting takes the blame away from them, and I don’t agree with that. They are willfully tying up traffic and being violent, and that is just wrong. The blame is on them, no one else. President Obama did not help the situation at all when he said yesterday they should just keep it up. H should have asked them to keep it a legal protest, and quit the violence.

    We will come together as a nation eventually. We always do. Why did God allow Trump to win? I don;t know. But I do know He calls us to pray for hi and all our leaders. That is the best thng we can do to help this country riight now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pete,
      I agree violence is not the answer and will not garner positive attention. I do hope Trump moderates his views and actively works to unify our nation. Prayer works and his election may move our nation to pray more and seek God. We will just have to wait and see. Thanks for stopping by and commenting today. Very much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Racism has been since the the beginning of time. Gods people did not like the Samaritans. I know so many are disappointed in the election. Remember God is in control and He knew the outcome way before we did. The important thing is that as believers, regardless of race, remember we are brothers and sisters. I don’t know if you saw what o wrote on Susan’s blog in response to your asking her about white men understanding a black mothers feelings. The only way we can come together is to step on the bridge, as she called it. I’m willing to step on the bridge and meet you there to help in us both understand each other. Are you willing? It will take heartfelt conversation for sure. Let me know.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Andy,
      I am most definitely willing!
      You are quite correct about racism being nothing new. Thankfully, God IS in control. We can take assurance in that. I’ll meet you there and hopefully bring more with me (even if I have to drag them there!) The more we talk with our brothers and sisters the more we find we have in common than not. Thanks for joining us once again.


  11. Reblogged this on Susan Irene Fox and commented:

    Lilka and I will be reblogging each others’ letters rather than posting them in full. We’d like you to comment on the original blog – and today she issues a challenge – a call to Trump voters – to calm fears, use considerate words, to promote unity. Will you rise and give us all hope?

    Liked by 2 people

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