You should have seen me four years ago today. I was walking around with some two-day old depression and a hold on my tongue like never before. I figured it was best to just keep my mouth shut after the candidate that I invested my energies into just lost the election. The McCain/Palin bus came to a halt, and so did I.
For better or for worse, I felt married to the 2008 election. I cried the night President Obama was elected and whimpered for the few days following. And I’m not quite sure when it struck me that the whimpering and grumbling was pointless to my existence, but it did. I do, however, remember a very distinct moment when I saw some of the destruction from the political tornado that I (willingly) got sucked into. One day I had noticed one girl from high school deleted me from Facebook. I know, I know … it’s the little things. I started going over what could I have possibly done until it finally hit me.
I was such a jerk to her during the election.
Without going into great detail, I did send her a message and I gave an overdue apology. It was a good moment of reflection for me as I got to remember who I was during that time period of my life. Honestly, I had just decided to follow Jesus during the 2008 election, so my perspectives were premature and unsure. These are what I thought to be true at the time:
If I am a Christian, I am a Republican.
If I am a Christian, I believe the justice that God desires is to be fought with violence.
If I am a Christian, I am against abortion, thus I am a Republican.
If I am a Christian, I believe that God should be the God of this nation, thus I am a Republican.
You can probably see where my mind derailed for a good couple of months. It is only when I started to understand the character of the God through Jesus in scriptures, and I started asking questions instead of listening to opinions on Fox News (as well as other forms of media), that I started to feel the formation of new opinions through the Lord. I started to understand what really mattered. I started to see that it is not about who is President, but who I am as a follower of Jesus. Two very different things.
See, I remember feeding the homeless for the first time. It was in just spending time with them and reading Isaiah 58 in the following weeks that I started to see a connection of dots to the heart of God. I started to gain the understanding that it is not an elected official who is the determiner of whether or not they get the shelter, food, and the friendship that they need. I’m called to do that.
So today I stand with no tag of Republican nor Democrat. I did not vote yesterday because of my actions four years ago and maybe I’ll never vote again. Whether you are or not, I am OK with that. My vote is to see the reconciliation of all things as God sees them. Perhaps some see that reconciliation in the form of a political party and that is their discerned decision. Good, vote, but never be afraid to ask questions about what strong beliefs you hold or are told to hold.
And remember, the Kingdom that we await doesn’t contain voting booths for political parties. It has you, and me and those we took care of in the meantime.