Now, I’m not so incredibly daft as to post a whole piece on whom I voted for and why. No thanks. I’ve gotten flamed and hated for such topics as worship and garage sales, so there is just no way on earth I will venture into the choppy waters of post-election emotion.
But I do want to share my experience, and a few thoughts.
Yesterday morning, I made Hubby drive by our poling place to see if the lines were indeed as horrifyingly long as the news-depicted lines snaking through parking lots and around city blocks. He called me 20 minutes after he left the house to say he had voted and the lines were not bad. Around 9:30, I packed up Reagan and a bag of “emergency long-line” supplies. I stuck her in the stroller and began the process of pushing her along several blocks to our destination. I explained to her that we were going to go “VOTE!” To which she said, “BOTE!” And I said, “Yes!” I handed her a leaf as I normally do when we go on a walk. It keeps her occupied and she clutches it tightly all along the way. I approach the church where we BOTE and note that I need to take her stroller inside with me because it is too windy to leave it outside. I lug it through the doors and see that there are several people voting, but no line. I unbuckle her seatbelt and tell her its time to go BOTE. She says, “BOTE!” We walk into the room, her little hand in mine. I sign in and she clutches her tiny leaf - all crumpled in her hands. I am handed a ballot and choose a piece of candy. I tell Reagan that if she is really good, she can have the candy. The ladies working the poling place laugh politely. We find a seat and I pull my little one up in my lap and start to fill in all the little circles. Little circles next to names I’ve heard way too many times, names I’ve prayed over and debated with others about. Reagan sets her crumpled leaf on the table and a small piece breaks off. “Uh oh!” she says, looking at me, hoping I can fix it. “That’s okay,” I whisper, “I’ll get you a new one when we are all done. Do you want some candy?” She grabs the tiny piece of candy and I work at unwrapping it and tearing it into tiny pieces. She daintily eats a tiny piece at a time and I fill in circles as quickly as possible. When we are all done, I tell her it is time to go. She books it for the door. I gently lead her by the hand to the lady who passes my ballot through a machine. She puts my “I VOTED!” sticker on Reagan’s shirt. And we go back out to the hall to find our stroller. We walk a few blocks more to Reagan’s favorite park. I let her play. I let her explore whatever she wants to. I don’t care if she doesn’t go down the slide or swing in the swing. I don’t care if all she does the whole time we are there is pick up woodchips. I marvel at the way her world is made more exciting by how different each little woodchip is, how beautiful every single fallen leaf is, how joyful she is to just be outside.
Last night I watched the election results as long as I could. At 10:00 I crawled in bed, only to hear moments later the results.
And today, as I reflect on the experience, I’m really sad for all the people who are so angry and hateful. I’ve talked to a few of them. But I’m not one of them because I have had great peace about this election. God is in control.
We’re all as different as those fallen leaves scattered around our trees. All colors. All sizes. All “types”. And in the same way I see incredible beauty in autumn, I see incredible beauty in a nation full of people who really wanted to go BOTE yesterday. I see incredible beauty in a church full of people who are drastically different, but who worship together and give of their time to create powerful services every Sunday.
I see incredible beauty in my daughter. She doesn’t understand so much of the words I say. She doesn’t know why she can’t have a pacifier at bedtime anymore. She doesn’t comprehend my reasoning for all my actions or discipline. But I believe she knows how loved she is. I believe she wakes up in the security and peace of that every single morning. And I believe she knows, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I would do anything for her good.
I also believe my Heavenly Father is 1,000 times the parent I could ever be. And if He loves me and knows me so very deeply, how can I not feel His peace no matter how good or bad things get?
Lead on, oh King Eternal.