HEY, GOD - it's us, America.
First things first: Thanks for getting us through this hell (sorry - I mean heck) of an election season with no broken bones. But a lot of us have broken hearts, Lord, and that's what's bringing us to our knees today.
We should've asked for your help a lot sooner than this. But as you know, we're flawed (thanks, Adam and Eve).
We'd like to think we're teachable, though. So here it goes, God.
Please forgive us for ignoring the line between civility and incivility, for crossing it a thousand times this past year and for treating each other abominably.
It started with Donald Trump, who said hateful things that should've shocked us into silence or dismissed him as simply too mean to be the leader of the free world. Instead, his supporters confused his stunning disrespect for bravery and said he was "telling it like it is."
He was "honest" when he derided war hero John McCain, a Vietnam POW who was tortured for six years.
He was "authentic" when he rated women's appearance on a scale of one to 10 and said that smaller-breasted ladies would never hit the top of the chart.
He was being "one of the guys" when he bragged about groping women between the legs.
He was "refreshing politically incorrect" when he said Mexico was sending us their rapists and that an American judge of Mexican descent couldn't be impartial because of his ethnic heritage.
He was edgily "off-the-cuff" when he suggested that America's "Second Amendment people" might have a solution for Clinton if she nominated a Supreme Court judge who'd be sympathetic to gun-control legislation.
Trump was just being Trump, God. Whether he deserves forgiveness for his mean-spirited attacks is between You and him.
What's between You and us, though, is how we took Trump's bait and beat each other over the head with it.
Trump's supporters created bumper stickers that read "Life's a Bitch. Don't Elect One." And "My Name is Hillary Clinton, and I am Completely Full of Sh**." And "Hillary Outsources All Jobs. It's True. Ask Monica."
Then Trump's haters got just as bad, echoing Clinton's pronouncement that a big chunk of Trump voters were "deplorables." That's a word no presidential candidate should use about any Americans, ever.
But once she did, her supporters felt permitted to spew bile at Trump supporters as awful as what Trump supporters were spewing at them.
We can say this for the hatred: In the moment, it's a rush. But the crash afterward is soul flattening. It feels awful to feel this cut off from people who surely want the same things we do:
To feel secure, hopeful, loved, needed and proud.
Please help us feel that way again, Lord.
Help us be big enough to say we are sorry, brave enough to look for common ground, kind enough to tolerate each other's imperfections and patient enough to heal one day at a time.
Because the 2020 election will be here before we know it. And God knows (and by that, I mean You know) we can't go through this again.