Yesterday, while most of America was standing in line waiting to vote, I was messing around on the internet at work. ( I did vote.) I found a site that had junior high and high school students from around the country writing letters to the man that will be our 44th President. It was fascinating to read what these kids had come up with. I wonder how many wrote about the things that are spoken of at their dinner tables. Some of them, clearly, didn't have a safe dinner table to go home to and were begging for some relief and safety. (This always makes me want to adopt.) Click here to read them.
This election has been an overwhelming race. I've never felt so much tension in the air... never seen America's nerves so exposed and raw. It's been unsettling. I've seen Americans, friends, neighbors become angry and ugly towards one another. It's the first time I've ever been called a "baby killer". Because of this, I was expecting Election Day to be a mess. There was a part of me that was waiting for riots and blood shed. Instead, the polls were packed and the biggest thing people braved was the weather and long lines. The winner was clear in a timely manner and the stage was given to him peacefully and graciously. I am proud of us for that much. Only in the US is this sort of transfer of power possible.
Still, I've been trying to put my finger on why this election has been such a big deal... more so than others. Was it really because an African American was running... or a woman? I'm not discounting these... they are major breakthroughs... the likes of which the world has never seen before. But I think it's bigger than that. It seems to me that the voters forgot that they were in fact electing a human being... not a messiah. We already have a God. This particular position is spoken for. Although, most of us forget that He (God) is alive and at work still today... Most of us forget to listen to Him when He calls us to work for a life that is so much bigger than our own weird little lives. Most of us have been waiting for someone to step in and save us from ourselves and we have forgotten that this was never in the president's job description.
The following is the song I found myself listening to this morning:
My neighbor put up a Christmas wreath on her front door. Christmas already? Yikes! But it got me thinking. The people of Mary and Joseph's day, the Prophets waiting for their prophecies to be fulfilled... these guys were never waiting for a baby whom the angels knew by name. They were waiting for a government/ regime change. They had been asking for a king and a kingdom to relieve them of their suffering under King Herod. It didn't happen like they had asked... It rarely does. It was up to them to create the changes.
Are we asking the right guy for relief? Where exactly is America's hope? Is it really in the one we elect every four years?
"He has made everything beautiful in it's time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end." Ecclesiastes 3:11.
"Good work finds the way between pride and despair. It graces with health and heals with grace. It preserves the given so that it remains a gift. By it, we lose loneliness, we clasp the hands of those who go before us, and the hands of those who come after us, we enter the little circle of each other's arms."
-Wendall Berry from "What are People For"