What’s on Your Ballot?
By Lu Mountenay of Independence, MO, USA
Let no negative talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear. …and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. —Ephesians 4:29; 5:2 NRSV, adapted
I knit a hat for two year-old Christian, son of Gabe, a colleague at work. Since I used the colors of the local football team, Daddy Gabe wanted one too—only slightly larger. When little Christian saw his dad’s hat did not have a playful pompom on the crown like his did, Christian wanted the little ball of wool “off!” He wanted to be exactly like his dad.
I kept the unwanted ball and tied it to a piece of yarn. I gave it to Lauren Hall’s cat, Bailey, to play with. “Meow” (thank you).
When my daughter, Ali, was five years old, she was serving tea to her dolls. The dolls kept falling over in their chairs, which frustrated Ali. Finally she said, in an irritated voice, “Oh, I have so much work to do, I’ll never get it done!”
At first it amused me. Then stunned me—as I realized she heard it from me, a young, busy mother with three small children. This was what I sounded like to her. Lesson learned.
You’ve heard it said that we need to be careful what we do and say, our children are watching and listening—and imitating!
I am reminded to continually ask, if what I say and do (and wear on my head), influences what anyone else says and does. It is sharp in my mind right now as national elections approach in the US. I must ask myself if the candidates bring out the best in their supporters. Do they offer those listening hope? Are they decisive? Are they the leaders we want our children to see, hear… and emulate?
Prayer for Peace
God of Wisdom, help us always vote with our conscience. Help us carefully consider which candidate will promote a good will and model peace for our children.
Prayerfully seek God’s guidance in your choices. The practice of discernment invites us to orient our lives toward God and God’s vision for us and creation. Begin by reviewing the responsibilities and opportunities in the day before you. Take these choices into prayer, asking God for wisdom and insight about what matters most.
God, I will take you into the voting booth with me.