When it comes time to vote, I trust and affirm those who love country, state, city, neighborhood.
Here’s a list of the qualities of love from one of the most quoted Christian texts. (1. Cor.13)
Not dishonoring others
Not easily angered
No record-keeper of wrongs
Not delighting in evil
Rejoicing with the truth
Never failing . . . in the end, . . . love . . . prevails.
This isn’t all that complicated but people who cannot love themselves would tell you and me otherwise.
Ignorance is easy to maintain. Selfishness – takes no sweat. Living in fear? Anyone can pull that off. Smear campaigns? In the third grade that seemed funny until we hurt someone we cared about.
The real problem as I see it is that not enough voters have known enough love to love themselves or anyone else. At least not love in the way described above.
Conservatives can love. So can Liberals. Love does not discount having a different take on how best to govern and lead, but it does influence how we get beyond playing King of the Hill with each other to collaborating for the common good.
This country is in real danger of transforming from a democratic republic to authoritarian rule by people who are so wounded and loveless that they will tell any lie, pull any trick, bend any rule to buy a little false certainty, comfort and control and let taxpayers like you and me pay for all that. It will cost us all much more than money if we let them succeed. It may well cost our freedom.
Sadly, if only they knew that there is a God who loves them more than their family and friends did or do, a God who does not write them off or vote them off the planet but instead longs to help them find and free the lovable and loving person buried underneath years of accumulated hurt, neglect and mistreatment.
Most of the people living with little love may roll their eyes in disgust at what I have written. I get it. They are not ready to ready to trust anyone who is not living and believing as they do. I remember when I was unable to risk facing my own internal discomfort and restlessness and sought solace in hiding in a group.
Some are, however, waking up to the possibility that there really is more for them than the garbage they are being fed, that they are smarter than the idiots their handlers think them to be. I pray that they hold on to that hope and begin tracing that glimmer of light back to its source where welcome and love awaits.
For me this election is not just about who wins an office, or which political party holds a majority. Oh, our vote matters. And for me it’s about a choice between loving or loathing ourselves, our neighbors, and this country.
For that reason, I will pay more careful attention to each candidate’s documented behavior and speech (in context) than to the party to which they belong.
People who love can be trusted to work well with others to find and promote the common good. I learned that from a Jewish carpenter’s kid who let even me into a work crew that still labors, still hopes, still loves almost 2,000 years later.
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Rev. William (Bill) Rose-Heim serves as Regional Minister and President for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of Greater Kansas City
9401 Johnson Drive, Merriam, Kansas 66203
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