Walking Through Election Day with my Daughters

Like most Americans I was irritable the minute I awoke today.  Ugh.  Election day.  According to the New York Times, I am not unique, with “more than eight in 10 voters saying the campaign has left them repulsed rather than excited.”  Eighty percent of us are repulsed and I’d say, of the remaining twenty percent, half are excited about Trump and half are excited about Clinton.  In sum, 90% (NINETY PERCENT!) of the nation is going to be angry this evening when the votes are tallied. 

So, I did what I do at the beginning of most hard days—I sat down with my girls, shared my discouragement, and asked them to rehearse the Gospel with me, that I might be reminded of what’s true.  

We talked first about what’s at stake for America.  Remember, they’re newbies here and they’ve grown up listening to me and their dad speak proudly of our home country.  As they’ve aged, though, they’ve also heard our bitter disappointment with the direction of our nation.  They wanted to know who in our extended family was voting for whom and why.  I watched their eyes fall when they learned who was in favor of what.  As a family with deep ties overseas, deep love for all walks of life, and a deep commitment to Biblical values, this election has not been cut and dried for us, to say the least.  It has been a rough welcome home. 

Thankfully, Paul’s letter to the church at Colossae and the supremacy of Christ in all things is fresh on my mind.  We turned to chapter one and wrestled with a verse that is dear to me, “For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through Him and for Him” (Colossians 1:16).  The girls and I soaked in two important realities: the ruler of America was created through God and for God.  Well what in the world is He going to do with either of these front runners, we wondered? 

And we really didn’t come up with any good answers.  But we did remind ourselves of the numerous evil rulers throughout the Bible, through whom God carried out His plans.  We recalled Pharaoh who “ruthlessly made the people of Israel work as slaves” (Exodus 1:13) and his decree to have all the Hebrew boys killed (Exodus 1:26) and how Moses survived in spite of this and lived to lead the Israelites out of Egypt.  We recalled Herod who ordered the massacre of all the little boys of Bethlehem (Matthew 2) and how Jesus survived that and lived to nail our record of debt to the cross, disarming “the rulers and authorities and putting them to open shame” (Colossians 2:14).  In both stories—one from the Old Covenant and one from the New—the plans of evil leaders did not thwart the salvation and deliverance provided by God Almighty.  In both true stories a deliverer arose and glorified God bringing good to the people.  

And so it will be again. We girls reveled in the truth that “the Lord Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart him?” (Isaiah 1:27).  We reminded ourselves that God is sovereign and good and trustworthy, no matter what today or tomorrow or the next four years brings.  He Himself promises to bring “justice for all the oppressed” (Psalm 103:6).  

Then, Mark, Rebekah, and I gathered around the table with our ballots.  We discussed the candidates and the propositions.  As a family—ages 9 to 41—we weighed in on each ballot item and we three who are of age cast our votes.  We all went together to the polling station, though my little girls complained that they didn’t need to run this errand.  But I told them, “Just like it’s vital for you to see me worship Jesus, it’s vital for you to see me exercise my civic duty and privilege.” 

But more than that, it’s vital for them to see me trust in Christ alone as we elect our next president.