Narrating Grace

A Prayer for Election Day

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Listen to me, God.
I join in the chorus, loudly: I’m so tired of political ads.  My 2-year-old picked up the phrase, “I’m sick of this,” from hearing me say it every time an ad fills the TV screen or blurts through the radio, the announcer sounding so serious, as if I’ll trigger the apocalypse if I vote for the wrong candidate.
I feel anxious every time I hear about a poll.  The pollsters and slick media faces want me to worry, because it’ll pull me into the vicious circle.  Worry.  Get more information.  Worry some more.  Watch TV more.  Listen to the radio more.  Worry.
I wonder how I’ll feel on Wednesday morning.
I know what I want the results to be.  I know what I don’t want them to be.  I don’t trust those who think differently than me.  They don’t know the real story—the real consequences for their decisions.  They haven’t thought it through, because if they really, really thought about it, they’d see it my way.  They’d see I’m right.
The hardest part for me is realizing I’m not in control in a flawed system that will dictate my life.  I feel like the results of the vote will sit in my living room and I’ll have to walk around them like the beanbag chairs my kids drag around.  I’m out of control as I try to choose between two flawed candidates and vote on two flawed amendments.  Why can’t it be clear-cut?
I put it in your hands.  I don’t give you much, but this I will lay in your lap.  Gladly.
Give me strength, courage and compassion as I make the leap in the voting booth tomorrow.  Help me to think about those without a voice, because I need to speak for them.  Give me thoughts of children’s faces and those who are vulnerable and forgotten.  Is your Holy Spirit in the voting booth?  I hope it is.  Please, let it be.
On Wednesday morning, give me peace.  I’ve spent so much time thinking I’m right that it’s going to take me a while to stop thinking everyone else is wrong.  Be patient with me.  I’ll need courage as I embrace the decisions of the community—whatever they may be.  Give me compassion for my neighbor, even the one with different political leanings.  He came over yesterday to help us move furniture, offers the use of his snowblower and is a good neighbor.  Help me remember. 
But please, don’t put out the fire in my gut (is that the Holy Spirit too—or my pride?).  There’ll be another election soon.
Amen.
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