Apparently another perk of my boys not getting the daylight savings memo, is the ability to get in line at the polls promptly at 5:45am. As any mom knows, there is a shelf life to the length of time children will wait patiently in a line. If you pass the expiration limit, the fall out can be extreme. Hoping to avoid this, I somehow managed to dig deep and get us out of the house at 5:30a. However as one of my fellow citizens so politely pointed out when I got in line, I did so without putting socks on my kids. At 5:45 am, “Thank you” was the most polite thing I could come up with in response.
It was cold. The boys made sure I was aware of this about 2.2 seconds after getting in-line, which was already 100+ people deep and extending out of the building and down the sidewalk where we were waiting. Rather than subjecting my fellow citizens to this, I asked the man behind me, if he would mind allowing me to take the boys inside and just wait for the line to catch-up in there. Thankfully he agreed. My curiosity was running rampant wondering what judgements/stereotypes people were hurling in my direction as I surpassed the line with two babies on my hip, all in our pajama’s (or a variation of). My need to defend got the better of me at one point as prying eyes scrutinized my every move and I blurted out “I didn’t wake them for this, they are early risers”… of course no one cared.
My ballot is cast. I did my part. I am praying fervently of course over the rest of the day and the results, but outside of that its out of my hands. I personally hate politics, or I suppose the more politically correct statement would be to say, I hate what politics has become. Democracy as a whole I’m rather fond of. “A government by the people, of the people, and for the people”. It would appear to me, I know more of what the candidates are against than what they are actually for. However, having engaged in the seemingly impossible this week: having a conversation that centered wholly around religion and politics for an extended duration, from opposing view points, and each individual walking away with a greater respect for the other, gives me hope for the future.
It does bother my how timid I’ve become in approaching potentially ‘volatile’ topics, because of my fear for the response I’ll get. This week was perfect timing for me to stumble across a verse in 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” As a whole it would seem FAR too many people with strong convictions are no longer speaking up, out of a fear to offend. We were not wired to be a fearful people, however equally important to me in that verse is the spirit of love and self-discipline. When you approach someone in these conversations with a desire to change them, you are not loving them. To love, is to accept someone as they are, not as you think they should be. To learn at all, we need to be able to share what we know and what we believe, and allow others the same respect they show us, in hearing out their beliefs as well. Self-discipline is of the utmost importance here. In my conversation this week, there became a point in the conversation where it was apparent the argument could continue ad-nauseum. To know when your conversations has shifted from sharing in love, to trying to change a person is usually a good time to draw on a little discipline and exit the conversation while you can still do so gracefully. You’ve said your piece, have a little faith that words you’ve sown in truth and love can sprout and grow.
The best part about voting this morning, other than the imminent departure of ‘campaigning’, was the impromptu breakfast party that occurred at my house right after! All those prying eyes got to see, that while its hard for me to get it together at 5:30am, it only takes me an hour to be ready to party! I discovered a couple of my girlfriends in line shortly behind me as we were leaving the polls, and when I yelled pancake party at my house when you’re done, more than a few strangers shouted “See you there” as we walked away!
Happy Voting Day Peeps!!! Get out there and be a light in our world, make your voice heard in truth and love!