Winner will need God's help
October 08, 2008
Politics is not my game, but because a couple of you asked, here goes:
It was Saturday afternoon, and I was poking around at the new flea market at The Pickle Barrel. A couple of us greeted each other—I, because I knew I had met her and thought I could call her by name (I was wrong); and she, because she recognized me because of something I had written. We cleared that up, chatted a little, and then she nodded toward a couple of vendors and said, "Hey, guys, did you know she writes in the newspaper?"
"Which paper, and what about?" were the questions they had.
"The local paper. And...oh, various perspectives...usually whatever is keeping me awake the night before deadline," I answered.
"Know what I'd like to see? A woman's perspective on this whole election."
"I wouldn't be the one to write that. I know which way I lean, but to tell the truth, I have issues with both camps. Part of me says this is the year I won't vote. But of course I will, because in our country we have that right."
"Or," the guy said, "the right not to vote, and still gripe."
As I turned to leave, the other vendor in the conversation asked, "So, are you going to write it?"
"You watch for it, I'll write it," I promised, though I really wasn't sure what I'd write.
Then Tuesday night I went to a class I'd been attending—Stepping Up by Beth Moore. I grabbed a chair next to a friend with whom I love to spend time but rarely do. The lesson was about Psalm 127 which begins with, "Unless the LORD builds a house, its builders labor over it in vain; unless the LORD watches over a city, the watchman stays alert in vain." (HCSB)
Someone mentioned a quote from Benjamin Franklin. "Must've been from Day 5," my friend said. I didn't get that part done."
"Me either," I admitted. And we both turned to it. Here's what the book said.
"Despite debates on whether Benjamin Franklin was a Christian or believed in the existence of a God on purely rational grounds, his 1787 'Speech to the Convention for Forming a Constitution for the United States' in Philadelphia powerfully applies to our lesson. Read the excerpt thoughtfully:
In the beginning of the contest with Britian when we were sensible of danger, We had daily prayers in this room for the Divine protection. Our prayers, Sir, were heard; and they were graciously answered... .And have we now forgotten this powerful Friend? Or do we imagine that we no longer need his assistance? I have lived for a long time (81 years), and the longer I live the more convincing proof I see of this truth, that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it possible that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that 'Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it.' I firmly believe this, and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall proceed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel.''
My friend leaned over and whispered to me, "For Willene Tanis' column."
So here it is, folks, the closest you'll hear me get to saying which way I'll vote. But vote I shall. And I will be praying that the team to whom the leadership falls will remember the spirit in which the constitution was written.