Well friends, here we are. The day before what could arguably be one of the most critical elections in our nation’s history.
Over the past several months, we’ve all felt the push and pull from the left and the right, the masked and the unmasked, attempting to sway our vote to “their side” through campaign promises and fear mongering (guess which one is more powerful). It is virtually impossible to escape the onslaught of political opinions bombarding us from a variety of sources- be they celebs, gurus, or religious figures.
We have experts giving their expert opinions and fact checkers checking their versions of the facts. Finding non-biased, reliable information on what matters most is hard if not impossible to come by. And that’s if you can muster the courage to ask the important questions without being labeled as the “wrong” side or not focusing on the “important issues."
I don’t know about you, but personally, I’m disheartened by the posts from this person or that organization, making slurs and taking jabs at one side or the other- forgoing any hope of recognizing any commonality in our flawed and frail humanity. There is an assumption that if someone disagrees, they must be wrong. Or worse- they are deemed evil.
I marvel at the audacity of people asking straight out- and expecting an answer- “who are you voting for?” The personal polling seemingly pointless beyond looking for a way to separate whom they will deem acceptable based on political preference or affiliation. Never mind taking the time to actually understand where someone is coming from; what pain or experiences contributed to their perspective. The question just hangs in the air- disconnected from anything that makes it feel safe to answer.
While “who are you voting for?” isn’t a question I intend to ask or answer for anyone (seriously, please don’t ask), what I would like to offer is a different question:
What are you voting for?
Me? I’m voting for equality and inclusion. For mercy and justice. I’m voting for grace and compassion. I’m voting for those who are fighting demons for their families and/or for themselves, bigger than they ever imagined, and who need help to achieve their victory. I’m voting for the forgotten. I’m voting for those who cannot vote for themselves- yet have everything at stake.
BUT… here’s the thing...
Whether my candidate “wins” on Tuesday or not, I will still be standing for all these things I voted for. And I will back up my vote with my actions- no matter what happens.
Regardless of who wins, I promise to live out these things and will not allow my character or my mission to be swayed by who sits in office. I will not be moved to hate, or judge or condemn because it didn’t go the way I wanted it to. I won’t blame and I won’t shame.
I will not see voters. I will see people. Left or right- and I will do my level best to treat all as the image bearers they are. Even if they don’t know that’s what they are.
So, my beautiful, passionate friend- I know at the root of your vote- is a whole lot of what. So, I am asking, nearly begging you to join me. No matter who wins. Let’s stay focused on the what. Let’s look for the commonality in our flawed and frail humanity. Let’s remember it’s people who matter and at the end of day, you don’t have to claim left or right to do what’s needed. We must see the deeper need; a common longing for acceptance, compassion and understanding.
Who each of us decide to be on the other side of this is the biggest reason this election is so critical. That will be what makes the real difference in this world. Change will only happen if we collectively work for it; create it; speak up and demand it. Because the reality is, a political cure will always be ineffective for treating what is really a heart problem.
And to my fellow sisters and brothers in Christ- let’s remember this as we think about what we will vote for…
He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness,[a] and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8)
After Election Tuesday, there will be a Wednesday and a Thursday, and so on and so on. I know the outcome of the election is important, but not nearly as important as what we will offer to this wounded and waiting world.