{Editor’s note: This is not a partisan site, just as this post is not a partisan post. Anni is sharing what’s on her mind and what’s going on in her own home, which is what our bloggers do here every day. I know we’re all feeling a bit raw today. Please do not read into this essay any message other than the one she has written: hope and trust during divisive times. — Kelli Scott, editor}

Today, the world is in shock. Some are shocked out of fear, and I suspect some are shocked out of joy. Perhaps for some, their dreams have come true. Others just don’t know what to think.

Everyone’s head is spinning, and whether or not you voted for or against Mr. Trump, or not at all, this is quite a thing to behold. It’s going to be really hard not to devolve into speculative conversations today, and certainly they might be riddled with fear and uncertainty.

Ah, but the children! We can’t let the political scene permeate our homes and schools–not when the children are young and vulnerable. Not when they’re so easily frightened, and when fear has access to their minds and hearts in such powerful forms.

Have you ever asked a group of children to tell you about their worst nightmares? Last year, I was given the gift of seeing what happens in children’s darkest dreams. I was talking with my students about what our subconscious is, and how we store memory, and all of a sudden they were surrounding me, pressing in, wanting to tell me their worst nightmares. Like a swarm of hungry and frightened…well, children…they earnestly shared their fears.

And let me tell you, these fears are the stuff of horror movies. Absolute terror. Moms turning into evil spirits before your eyes, monsters devouring family members alive, you know…the worst things our minds can conjure.

Now, these children mostly come from homes where there isn’t a lot of TV, and if there is, most of it is carefully chosen. They aren’t seeing intense, R-rated movies. Many of them have never seen anything but G-rated. So where do these horrific images come from?

Well, children are especially fear-susceptible. Even fears from generations past can creep down the line. My daughter and I were independently afraid of cows being in darkened rooms. Why is that? Probably somewhere in our ancestry, someone saw an accident involving a cow. And that fear remained in our DNA.

teddy-1477669Children, some more than others, can pick up a fear like the common cold, and it can come from almost anywhere. If they happen to be especially sensitive, feeling young people, they’re the most vulnerable. We spend a lot of time trying to talk them out of being afraid, but really, they are just more aware of every possibility and danger. And they don’t yet have the life experience to know how to sort the likely from the absurd.

So, here is what I know the children need from us today: they need be protected with our love, the only thing that really conquers fear of any kind. And they need to know we are not afraid.

Why should we be? If we have a faith tradition of almost any kind, we believe there is a reason for things to happen, and that if we trust in the goodness of our Higher Power, we will see all things set right. And for those of my friends who prefer science to faith, I know you still believe in the power of love! So trust that love wins! Love, by its nature, cannot die. It is immortal. And it will never be extinguished.

So, next January this country gets a new CEO. But guess what? He’s a temporary employee. He will have four years to prove his stuff as leader of the free world. Maybe he will step up to the task! Love has no limits–perhaps this is as much part of the story of How Donald Learned to Love as it is anything else. I’ve never seen the limits of love–have you?

Then let us trust in the power of love, and not fear. Today, let us smile at our children, hold their faces gently in our hands, and look in their searching eyes. It’s all going to be OK.