I’m no Pollyanna.
I can be as critical and cynical and passionate about my position as the next guy.
I can’t bear to watch Nancy Grace, and I’m super concerned about the financial cliff, and I yell at the t.v. when Republicans and Democrats alike seem much more concerned about re-election than cooperating with each other for the good of America.
I’m an independent voter and an equal opportunity offender.
But on election day this week I was in the Middle East, and John was in London with a board made up of people from all over the world, and very little of political pettiness mattered.
There is so much oppression and lack of freedom in Israel/Palestine that I was particularly moved being away from my home where people were exercising a right to vote that we can take for granted. Like we take having peanut butter in our cupboard for granted.
And so, partly due to the intensity of my trip and fatigue and sadness at injustice I had been seeing, and being away from home, I was emotional, and inspired by several things…
1. A Tweet from a friend: Today, I woke up and it hit me: I live in Washington, D.C. and today is Election Day. What a crazy experience! The city is buzzing…
2. Word from John that a board member he was with from a west African country got shot in the legs for pushing for an election in his country..
3. A joyful video made by kids being taught the value of choice…
4. Reflecting on the contrast between being a Palestinian standing in line for hours at a checkpoint,
and the text I got from daughter #1 saying,
“Have to admit I got emotional voting today”, accompanied by this picture
And another from daughter #2 late election night.
5. The grace of a defeated candidate committing to pray for the newly re-elected president.
6. And lastly, an email from John:
I had this little 85+ year old board member from Japan who lost many family members in WW2 bombings, come up and say, “In 1961 I was in Chicago and could not be served lunch; when we went to next restaurant and ate, coming out Martin Luther King was coming in and shook my hand!” We live in a country where change, though slow and incomplete, has happened.
Regardless of who you voted for, if you live in the U.S. you had the freedom to vote, and to travel without fear, and to pray, and to show up and make history.
But it’s not enough to savor and appreciate these privileges when we have brothers and sisters around the world who can’t. We know that we don’t bring the the kingdom of God by politics or force and we trust that God is sovereign, but what is our part?
We pray, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done… on earth as it is in heaven”. The kingdom of God is where all people everywhere around the world are valued and treated with justice. In the kingdom there is good news for the captives, the widows, the orphans. What are we going to do to bring it? To bring heaven to earth?