Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Manchester, N.H., on Thursday. (Gerald Herbert/Associated Press)
Opinion writer

A week’s worth of daily meditation readings in the publication “Forward Day by Day” put me in a different frame of mind as I approached today’s column. “If you remove the yoke from among you, the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil . . . then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday” was one of the scripture passages. “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment” was another.

Stop running around “looking for and finding fault with everything, playing referee, throwing flags, calling strikes, putting people into penalty boxes,” cautioned a meditation.

“Judging with right judgment,” read another, “might also mean looking for things that are right in others as we dig below the surface to understand where they are coming from — sometimes it’s a place deserving of applause, not criticism.”

It was with that mind-set that I approached the keyboard.

And then I thought of Donald Trump.

There went the noonday sun.

Despite attempts to see things more clearly, Trump as darkness is not a notion easily dispelled.

Ah, but the meditation instructed, “Instead of catching people doing things wrong, make it your job to catch people doing things right.”

That’s the problem. It’s hard to catch Trump doing much that is right.

I mean, I gave it a good try. I found a comfortable time and place for my devotion. Before I began, I closed my eyes, settled my thoughts and breathed deeply. And I tried reflecting upon Trump’s story, and searching for him among the afflicted and those in need that the meditations say I should think about and help. Couldn’t find him.

Wishing to be true to my reading instructions, I tried opening the eyes of my heart to what Trump has been preaching. Tried listening to his message.

And I believe this is what I heard from on high:

“Donald Trump is, at bottom, a self-centered affliction upon the body politic. And his list of wrongs is long, and growing.”

My meditations pointed me to his serial insults and slurs, and the outright lies he tells about anyone with whom he disagrees. Through the meditations I learned about his misrepresentation of facts and his deliberate distortion of the views of others, how he fans religious and ethnic flames, plays to racial stereotypes, feeds off the worries and resentments of the white working class and has become the champion of adoring far-right nationalists. I learned how he flirts with the Kremlin and would undercut NATO and our allies.

I’m not so bold as to maintain that the Spirit was saying these things to me. But I also am not some self-appointed preacher making up spiteful and mean-spirited things to say about Trump.

Trump is there, word for word. There is nothing misleading about him, he needs no translation. Take him literally, there is no deeper meaning. He is defined by his mouth and actions.

This is what speaks to me from this week’s devotionals: Donald Trump is a mean, scary and hurtful person.

Lord have mercy.

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