The Lenhart Family

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

UNITED STATES... the morning after

Yesterday was either a difficult and disappointing day or a day of great hope for you depending on what side of the fence you are on (or well defined party line we have created). But the good news, according to one pastor I respect, is… God is on His throne and the political commercials are off the air and the annoying robo- calls have seized!!

Personally my first voting experience in Oklahoma was a bit frustrating. There are two different precincts voting at the same location. So I asked an election official which of the lines was for my precinct, he told me that both precinct where in the same line. After standing in a line for 45 minutes, the same man comes by informing people that the line I was in was for precinct 432 only (not mine). Two hours later, I cast my vote and felt proud because I had done my civic duty and relieved because some people in the other line (my original line had been waiting almost 4 hours) I made it out in time to pick Drew for his doctor appointment and much to my disappoint and frustration, their was a precinct at his school (two blocks away) with no lines at all. Go figure! I was a little frustrated and kind feeling sorry for myself and the other people who had the misfortune of being in a large precinct when I was reminded of something I had seen on the news a few days earlier…. In one South African election people waited for 2 DAYS to vote. I am so thankful that our vote wait time can be measured in minutes or hours, not days! I had also heard about people waiting for hours in the rain earlier in the morning, only to fill out ballots that were too soggy to read. Suddenly my little in convenient wait in the warm sunshine where I could vote without fear of repercussions wasn’t such a downer. Our voting system may be flawed but it as close to perfect as possible (kinda reminds me the words “in order to form a more perfect union”)

After months of a very heated and emotional campaign/ election season, I needed some comic relief as we watched the results start coming in. And as much as I love my kiddos, they still have a lot to learn about politics and geography so through some conversations with them; we had some good belly laughs….

One of my little darling (as if) asked “Mom, if they announce Barack wins tonight… does that mean Bush has to pack up his things and leave the white house as soon as they announce it?”

Another one asked, “Do you think Barack will run a victory lap holding up a #1 finger around the White House if he wins?” I replied, “No he’s not even in DC, he’s in Chicago.” To which they then asked, “Oh then do you think he will run a victory lap around the Eiffel tower?”

Jimso came home from school just beaming and proud because he got to vote in a mock election … I asked him if he voted for McCain or Obama and he looked puzzled and said “Neither, I voted for the donkey! And he won!”

Even in the midst of silly and humorous conversations last night, I was really excited to talk to Jimso about what this election could mean for him. While race did not influence my vote personally...regardless of how you feel about Obama, I think we should be so proud of this election’s significance and the history was made for our nation. I can confidently tell my beautiful black son that he can be ANYTHING he wants to be when he grows up. And nothing or no one can limit what he can accomplish!! Regardless of how you voted, our entire nation can celebrate the milestone of our first African-American president. We can all embrace this profound opportunity for deeper racial reconciliation and social justice.

I naively woke up this morning thinking the election is done and all the ugly emails of hate and fear would have seized… but sadly I opened one of the ugliest ones yet!! So if you claim the name of Christ, I am personally asking you to quit smearing our reputation in the mud by sending and forwarding messages that do not honor God. Jim Wallis has said, “As Christ followers, it’s more about how we live on November 3 and 5 than how we vote on November4!” As Christians, we ALL have dual citizenship. We belong to God’s kingdom first and foremost! I pray our hearts can be steadfast set on furthering His kingdom, not our own. We can not USE Jesus for our own personal causes or agenda or kingdom. Jesus is not a republican nor democrat nor an American. We might join His side but he does not join ours.

God is in control!!! He reigns! No one comes into power or leadership without God putting them in that position. "Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which GOD has established. The authorities that exist have been established by GOD." ~ Romans 13:1

Regardless of whom you voted for, it’s times we put our differences aside and PRAY for the leader that God has established. 1 Timothy 2:1-4 says “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”

If your candidate lost, “suck it up buttercup”, and be obedient to what God has called you to do now. If your candidate won, don’t gloat, but recognize what our nation needs most right now is to once again become the UNITED states… not the red states and the blue states.

I personally tucked my children into bed last night with renewed hope. I know that my God is in control and we are so blessed! While my personal hope is ultimately in God, I also have high hopes for what this administration will do for our nation (with our prayers supporting them every step of the way).

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