Twas the Night Before the Election…

4662095690 06817efa7e z Twas the Night Before the Election...

I am so thankful that tomorrow is Election Day, and that, come Wednesday, most people will be able to move forward, online and IRL relationships will be (hopefully) restored and normalcy returned.

This election cycle has really taken a toll on me. I don’t know if it’s really been that much more vitriolic, or if I’m just feeling it because I’m seeing things through a different lens this time around (and I’ve been alienated by many who liked me because I once held similar views to them).

The, mostly, misguided anger, the nastiness and the nit-picking (all of which I have been guilty of) have been beyond belief for the last 4 years. I’ve judged people and I’ve been judged. And I’m ready for it to be over.

This morning I read “Election Day Is Not a Vote Between Hades and Paradise” over at Deeper Story. So many excellent points are made, but it was the title that I’ve really chewed around on all day, because I honestly believe that there are people who DO believe that it is a vote for just those things. I’ve heard them proclaim just as much.

This belief is what has been at the core of my discomfort with the direction of this election. As a Christian, I’ve long believed that, while it is my duty to vote, whether my candidate wins or loses, God is in control.

I’ve also been told for a long time to vote according to God’s will.

But this time around I’ve wondered what that meant… Is it providing a safety net to others so that they can get back on their feet after being laid-off? Or is it allowing the super wealthy to keep as much of their self-made wealth as possible, and believe enough will trickle down to the rest of us to allow us to think we can get there with enough hard work?

Rather than making changes in ourselves, we’ve railed, pointed fingers and hated on others, and tried to convince everyone that our candidate is more Godly. When we put all of our hopes in one person, they are going to fall short. We live in fear, of a God who rails and smites, rather than living in the full glory of a God who is full of grace, second chances and longs for us all to see Him in the actions of others:

The actions we take to help the scared unwed pregnant girl after she makes the brave choice to keep her baby.
The actions we take to provide a warm place to sleep and a comforting word to the family who has lost everything.
The actions we take to ensure that everyone can get major medical help without having to declare bankruptcy.

Because I have been each of those people.

I was the unwed pregnant girl, who, out of fear, aborted her baby.
I, along with my ex, lost everything, were briefly homeless and had to get food stamps to support us as we got back on our feet. (We, thankfully, had friends and family who helped us, but not everyone does.)
I was one of those who, after a divorce, could not afford dental or health care for herself or her children and had to rely on medicaid for a season.

I don’t believe that either candidate has all the answers. I don’t believe that God has a party favorite. I don’t believe that He wants us to vote for one candidate over another, because every four years, we are voting for one flawed person against another flawed person. What He wants is for us to change.

For us to be moved enough to fill in the gap that EVERY flawed administration creates. That, is what ultimately matters.

photo credit from flickr

(Just Write)

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Comments

  1. So many of us have been those people. Some let bitterness keep them from not only receiving grace but extending it to others. One reason I blocked a lot of political posts on Facebook was the constant belittling people on all sides did. I found it was keeping me from being nice to people IRL so I eliminated it as much as possible. As a member of the working poor, and because my dad taught me to be as kind as humanly possible, I vote on the side of compassion. Nice work, Karla.

    • The name-calling and belittling were what made it difficult, most definitely. (I know I’ve unintentionally hurt feelings along the way too… :/

  2. I like the way you put these big questions into personal perspective. (For the record, I never remember you as being harsh to one side.)

    The older I get, the humbler I feel about these issues and the more complex they seem. I pray with women outside the unlicensed abortion facility on Nolensville Rd, but that’s helped me understand the need for universal healthcare. At the same time, I can’t in good conscience support a candidate who would take away the protection of religious liberty.

    I, too, will be relieved to put the vitriol behind us, at least for a while, anyway.

    • Thanks, Meredith.

      4 yrs ago I put something out on Twitter that caused a huge backlash/uproar and several ppl emailed me about it. Amazingly, we each became great friends from it. But I was ashamed by how my words hurt them. Each were searching spiritually, and my words troubled them because I proclaimed Christianity, yet my words were really ugly. Not one of my bright spots. But I’m so thankful they held me accountable. It really changed me… (it’s also, most likely what caused me to be really sensitive to it yesterday, and what provoked my status update on Facebook)

      There are many issues on both sides of the aisle that I have had trouble stomaching. That is what I’ve had to come to terms with. For a long time, I believed that one truly was better/holier than the other. That was my own error; because neither are.

  3. Karla! I loved this! I, too will be so glad when this is over. This has been equally as difficult for me I believe. I even thought about writing in a candidate because I’m so frustrated with politics! I pray that all goes well and there’s no need to do a recount.

    • I was tempted to write one in too ;) Thankful there will be no recount too… I don’t think any of us could have stomached what that would have caused! Now we can, hopefully, come together!

  4. beautiful… so very

  5. Oh, did i need this blog! I had a weird experience tonight at Bible Study. First know that we are SUPER tight knit small group. The leader asked about my nonbeliever husband, because they had a discussion on Sunday. Then he said, “I was talking politics, and showing him my side.” “Yea, he mentioned that.” Then he said something that prompted me to reply, “His politics are mine.” And mine are left, fairly very much to the left, and I’ve taught my husband. Then, oddly, I blushed, as the leader said, “Oh. Well, I was just trying to get him to talk.” So I feel really lonely…almost all my friends are hard right, and I got yelled at by a friend because I post a blog that informed PA voters the ID law had not passed. I’m so stressed out about this, and so..upset that I’m an outcast in my politics. Anyway, I wrote a similar theme for my post for tomorrow, but still, it’s sad and tiring, and I can’t wait until it’s over and we can get back to life as usual. (And I love politics, btw…) Sorry to unload, sitting here feeling crummy that last hour.

    • I hope you are feeling better today ;)

      I’ve made some big shifts in my views (and kept many of my ‘old’ ones) and that has prompted some uncomfortable exchanges with ppl who can’t reconcile the person they knew before and now. (and I’m the SAME person!! lol)

  6. Carla, thank you for your heartfelt post. You are not alone!

  7. We get so high and mighty. I am so with you on this.
    I have said this for years, God is in control.
    For the first time ever I think I will have a split ticket myself. …and I will be okay with it.

    Thank you so much for speaking what my heart feels.

    Hey, check out my post for a lighter side http://www.sweetpeasandbuddies.com/2012/11/election-day-realities.html

  8. Karla
    All I have to say is that I absolutely agree and as long as you have faith in who you really believe in ( God) you have already voted on going to heaven. :)

  9. Nice post; you handled a very tricky subject without alienating me, although I have a different view, I respect your’s. I really like how you ended it, that we should strive for the change we seek in the world. Hopefully we’ll have closure on who will lead the free world by tomorrow.

    • Thanks, Spence!

      My views are all over the place these days, and I’m good with that. But it’s left a lot of ppl who have known me for many years (perfectly aligned on one side) feeling like they don’t know me or that I’m someone different. Which saddens me.

  10. I am so apolitical, it’s ridiculous. I really don’t have any patience for intolerant people, and I’ve had to stay off of Facebook and Twitter, to a large extent, for a while now. You’re so right … no candidate has all the answers. It’s up to US to fill the gap. The sooner we all realize it, the better.

    • I’ve long been interested in the process, but I hate politics. I bit my tongue for most of it, but after waking up to so many fearful, mean, ugly updates on Facebook yesterday, from other Christians, I finally said something about it. (of course, I had fight the feeling of wanting to throw up from nerves!!! I’m so non-confrontational, for the most part!)

  11. So well said, Karla! I’m thankful more of us are speaking up and sharing this perspective.

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