The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


November 3, 2008

Get out the vote

My colleague Sonia just forwarded me today's "On A Journey" meditation from Tom Erich. Quite appropriately, it has to do with tomorrow's election, and Erich's plan to vote, "no matter how long it takes."

Elections, especially presidential elections, always remind me of specific moments from my childhood, when voting booths were plastic-laminate monstrosities with brown-and-orange curtains that opened with a smooth metallic swoosh. My dad would hoist me up and let me pull the levers for his candidates. I think my parents made it a point to take me to the polling place with them ... even if it meant going at less-convenient times for them.

Those few moments of childhood instilled in me a civic pride in voting that I carry to this day. It manifests in downloading my sample ballot, researching the candidates (even the park district commissioners), and making sure to get to the polls.

I'm planning to get to my polling place at 6 a.m., and will wait, all day, if necessary.

But Erich has two more suggestions: Pray on Election Day. And pray on Wednesday.

His Election Day prayer will be "not for a particular outcome, but for a process that is fair and just...."

And his Wednesday prayer will be "for a surge of real wisdom, which isn't a particular political opinion, but a tender regard for the freedom, rights and welfare of other people."

These are prayers, no matter our choice of candidate, that we can echo. Whether our preferred candidate wins or loses, we can pray for a fair process and wisdom in our leaders.

Oh, and if you don't yet receive Erich's daily meditations, you can sign up at his web site: www.onajourney.org

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