I write this blog several days before Election Day. I have my mail-in voter packet ready to fill (and drop-off) for November 8. While preparing this blog, I persevered through much distraction and kept finding myself drifting off, digressing on a multitude of topics. So, I buckled down during my “copious” spare time. I collated all my brain-dumps in my journal and began writing.
I wrote down the almost obligatory list of “Things I’m Thankful For.” (And after getting past the distraction of that sentence ending in a preposition) I began writing out a list––family, friends, health, meals, a home, this country, being able to vote….and, there...right there....I drifted off again, distracted.
Thankful? This year’s election has definitely left me more frustrated than ever. “Thankful” does not enter my mind as I consider voting.
“No...no...no..” As my younger child learns language and manner, “Thank you” ranks as a top priority; yet, my younger child keeps saying “You’re welcome” instead. The interaction goes something like this: I give him a banana and he replies with a smile, no eye contact, and snatching the fruit out of my hands, “You’re welcome.”
“No..no...no. You say, ‘Thank you.’” I reply smiling.
“You’re welcome,” he says with a smile and takes a huge bite. As if I have the privilege of serving him a banana. Oh, boy…two-year olds.
I sort of feel that way thinking of the presidential candidates this year. They have their public servitude reversed. To me, they seem to act (and have acted) in a way that expresses “You’re welcome. You’re welcome that I’m not the other candidate who did this and that.” Or, “You’re welcome that I’m going to save this country.” Instead, I wish for humbler appreciation of servanthood for all citizens and residents.
And here it comes, Election Day 2016. I try to be thankful in this season. In a few days, this country will vote. And come the morning of November 9,this country’s citizens will not suddenly become united, compassionate, and encouraging. Instead, I expect further regression of our democratic process, higher walls built between disagreements, blame and not repentance, an increase in egregious statements, and lies...more lies. Sadly, I also expect an increase in hate crimes and segregation no matter which color takes an oath in January.
Be thankful? This country has yet to pay the cultural consequences of this election. Despair has entered into more people’s conversations. Disgust, too.
As the feelings of disgust sweeps my mind and I cry out, “ARGHHH! What is the answer?! What has to happen?!!!?” I review my “Things I’m Thankful For” list in hopes of finding hope...family, friends, health, meals, a home, this country... And then, my answer comes. I got so distracted, I had forgotten the answer. The answer did not even make it to my list. I am really familiar with the answer. I posted, tweeted, and said it countless times in the past.
Here it is. The answer. The government is not my savior. It’s not yours, nor mine. I worship a god of justice and love. An all-powerful god who created all. A humble god. A god who allows us to freely love in response. A god who wants us to love all, especially those normally unlovable. And love those who refuse to love in return. A god, whose loving kindness, wants us to trust no matter the outcome of worldly politics. A god who no longer expects me to repay for all my bad behavior...I couldn’t do it anyways...and instead, loved us first and paid the price of my wrong with His love. The God. Father GOD. God of Jesus Christ. No matter the outcome of this election, the government is not our savior. This fact does not change. I’m once again reminded of what I must be most thankful.
Thank you, Jesus.
–Darren is a husband and father of two young children. He has worked in technology startups, ministry, and non-profits. Currently, he raises the kids (homemaker) and awaits the next “burning bush” for God’s assignment. He and his family are a part of the Mosaic Bay community for years and an organic church planter for a couple years longer. He has a heart for the homeless and desires to be a “dream releaser” of everyone he meets.