History in the making. As I write, it’s the evening of the election. Not all polls are closed yet, and we are watching the news as they break things down state by state. I love sharing these moments with my kids. The oldest and youngest are home, and the middles are in a big city and a small town. A blue city and a red state. My blue city man child is very conservative and my red state middle girl fiercely fights for justice and tends to be a little more liberal. We are all so different.
We are different, aren’t we? Leading up to today some of us have been a little anxious. We’ve been told that there would be anger, maybe voting intimidation, even possible rioting in the streets. I haven’t seen any violence today. But I have seen kindness. And goodness.
My son works in a grocery store. The local, small business kind. A place where you get to know your customers and they get to know you. Today he saw a lot of red hats and blue t shirts. He got a lot of good natured ribbing from “the old guys.” No anger or accusatory words, just teasing and good natured questions. He voted before he went in, but no one wanted to know who he voted for. No one asked him to put their groceries back if he voted for the wrong person. He was the same kid that rang up their groceries a few days ago. Nothing about their relationship changed.
I have some really great neighbors. I mean, especially during this pandemic my neighbors have been looking out for each other. Politically, we are all different. But that doesn’t mean that the guys across the street don’t stop my boys when they’re shoveling snow and bring over their snowblower. It doesn’t mean the sweet sisters next door don’t look out for us and give us gardening advice. The gentleman a few yards down gave us tomato plants this summer. They were these delicious heirloom variety that were huge. I love my neighborhood. Regular people living among each other and treating each other well.
At work, in both of my jobs, I’ve never been asked to stop working because my politics were all wrong. I’ll still shop for you and deliver your groceries and make sure to do my very best to make you feel special. In the office, I love answering the phone, visiting, and pointing you in the right direction. No one has ever said, “Wait. Who are you voting for? Let’s just end this conversation now.”
Here’s what I predict. Our world will still keep moving. My neighborhood will still project kindness. My friends will look out for each other. We will still strive for love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self control. My objectives, my goals, who I am inside and when no one is looking will not change. I will not change.
I’m guessing you will not change, either. Who you are, your character, that’s not going to change, is it? If your guy doesn’t win, are you giving up? Will you just stop fighting for justice and life and truth? Will you decide that goodness isn’t worth fighting for? Are you going to quit being a light in this dark world?
So, listen. If you are still anxious or angry or need a break, take a time out. Turn off the TV, put down the phone, go to bed. Let it go. The sun will rise, your neighbor will wave as you pass him on the street, you’ll give the kid that delivers your pizza an extra generous tip because, hey, life is hard right now and he’s trying. If you can’t change what happens on the national level, change what happens in your backyard. Volunteer. Guide. Help. Be the best person you can be. Today is the day. Now is the time.