A few thoughts on Election Day

I have always exercised my right to vote. The first time I voted I had turned eighteen in September and was living in Switzerland. I was sent an absentee ballot and I voted. Honestly, I was out of the country and I didn’t know all the facts or who I should vote for, but I voted. I was not about to miss something I thought was important and part of being a “grown-up.”

I had lived with grandparents for five years when I was younger. My grandmother took her right and privilege to vote very seriously. She was born in 1896 and knew a time when she didn’t have that right. She knew people who did not believe women should or could vote responsibility (and my grandfather was probably one of them!)

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It wasn’t until 1920 that she cast her first ballot. Both my grandparents were Republicans, my grandfather a very staunch Republican. Every election day he would ask my grandmother how she voted. And every election day she would say, “Bob, it is still a secret ballot.” I think he was convinced she went to the polls and canceled out his vote. Which would fit right into an understanding as to why “women shouldn’t vote!”

So I voted.
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Not today, I was one of the early voters. There were people voting and while there was no “line” there was a steady stream.

I used to love the political process. I watched all the debates and read all the opinions. Now, I avoid the debates and the speeches, then read the transcripts the next day. I have grown weary of the deeply divisive rhetoric and the disrespect of the other side. I vote, because I believe too many people sacrificed too much for me to not participate in this privilege.

So, a week ago, I was send a reminder that on this election day, I was scheduled to give the invocation for the Wichita City Council. I am sure that when I signed up it did not dawn on me that today was election day. Usually I do not script prayers, but today, I believed it was important for me to be intentional about how I prayed on this day, for a group of elected officials who had a ballot initiative in front of the city.

So I end today’s post with the prayer I shared with the Wichita City Council as reminded that I am graced to serve:

Gracious God and Ruler of us All, we acknowledge all authority and power comes from you.
We can not thank you enough for the gift of all those who helped us along the way.

We thank you for the gift of this nation.
We know that we do not always do our part to keep our democracy healthly and free.
Guard all of our words from inflammatory rhetoric that produces much noise and heat but little light.
Cleanse us from hatefulness and bigotry that would have us pursue our own narrow viewpoint
over the good of the community as a whole.

Today particularly, we thank you for the right and privilege to vote.
Strengthen us that we may exercise our precious votes for what is good and wise and just.

On this day, bless these elected officials, our city council.
Help them discern what is good for Wichita.
Guide their discussions that their words
and actions might contribute to the well being of all
who live in this great city.
For it is in your holy and precious name we pray. Amen

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “A few thoughts on Election Day

  1. Nancy Phipps

    Love this! You are spot on! I voted the year I turned 18 as well, and have never ever missed an election.

  2. Reblogged this on revcindylee and commented:

    Tomorrow is election day. I have already voted as have millions of other Americans. I am reposting a blog from 2 years ago, because I believe what it said then, stands as truth for today.
    Yesterday in worship, as we celebrated All Saints, a scripture from Hebrews was read. In part it stated, “Strive for peace with all, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” spring up and cause trouble, and by it the many become defiled.” (Hebrews 12: 14-15)
    I can not imagine a moment when these words are not more profound. The right to vote is a gift and a privilege. The ugliness which is proceeding this election is not a gift. I believe the world needs people of faith to be striving for peace, for seeking the grace of God and that NO root of bitterness springs up and defiles so many. There will be winners and losers, but as I said yesterday, this is not the first election in the history of this country to cause conflict. The world is not coming to end because of the election of either presidential candidate. When all is said and done on Wednesday, the challenge for people of faith is to ACT with lives that are grace filled and faith filled. This quote from John Wesley is as profound now as it was when it was written:

    I met those of our society who had votes in the ensuing election, and advised them, 1. To vote, without fee or reward, for the person they judged most worthy: 2. To speak no evil of the person they voted against: And 3. To take care their spirits were not sharpened against those that voted on the other side.
    — John Wesley, October 6, 1774.

    May we obtain the grace of God for the living of these days, trusting and hoping that God’s love will be with us all.

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