Pray, vote, laugh

by Kristin on November 6, 2012

in Belief, doubt & hope

Photo by sundaykofax

I almost laughed out loud in church on Sunday as we began the responsive reading—an “election litany,” it was called.

“Regardless of which individual wins [the election],” the leader read, ” the world will not end.”

And we responded, “Jesus will still be Lord and will determine the climax of history.”

I’m pretty sure my urge to laugh was rooted in comic relief—a desperate need to release some of the political tension that has built up in and around me these past few months. Because I find nothing funny in the truth that “Jesus will still be Lord” when we wake up Wednesday morning (and btw, God, if nothing else, please let the vote be fair and clear by Wednesday morning).

But even if the truth of God’s sovereignty isn’t funny, I do find this truth pretty funny: Human beings are one messed up, overly dramatic species. When you put social media in the hands of human beings, in the weeks leading up to a presidential election, only two responses seem appropriate: to laugh or to cry.

In that moment on Sunday, the election litany—full of both absurdity and truth, of both the foolishness of men and women and the wisdom of God—popped the cork off all the emotions that have been building up in me, releasing a bubbling joy.

* * * * *

Being political and involved has been ingrained in me since I was a little girl, growing up in a small town where the political signs that lined my front yard were different than all the other signs I saw. My dad was opinionated, vocal, and proud of his stance, so I voted in my first election believing that who I voted for really mattered—that it really made a difference.

I still think it really matters. I still care deeply and still buy into the idea that marginalized and hurting people will be further marginalized and hurt if the wrong guy is elected. And maybe that’s not just a nice narrative I’m falling for. I don’t know. I just know I really care, and all I can do is follow those feelings with actions that support them.

The trick, I’m starting to realize, is finding the line between caring too little and caring too much. Between helping the hurting and causing more hurting. Between working to bring more of heaven to earth and letting go, trusting that God is in control. Between utter weariness and hope.

* * * * *

“No matter who is elected the next President, utopia will not arrive,” the leader continued this past Sunday morning.

“And Jesus will still be Lord,” we responded. “New creation is in God’s hands.”

Indeed. Today I will pray, and I will vote, then I will do my best to laugh, dance, and shout—to do whatever I need to do to praise God for this most wonderful truth. A new creation is in his hands, unswayed by all that sways us, undivided by all that divides us.


The election litany used in my church Sunday came from this blog.

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  • Esther Emery

    Oh, man, that liturgy makes me laugh, too. (No offense…) It just is so funny that we need this much ritual and repetition to reassure ourselves of this basic truth: God is God, and we are not God. I have this image of all of us running around, panicking, like little Dr. Seuss characters, while the sun keeps rising and setting on us all. Thanks for taking yourself lightly.

    • kt_writes

      We are a funny lot, aren’t we? It takes a lot to get things through our thick skulls and hard hearts…

  • Jennifer Luitwieler

    I love this. For a hundred reasons. I sometimes feel like I’m willing swallowing the dupe, that the odds are stacked against us regular schmoes who go vote like it matters, all the while, the fix is in and the electoral college has already been decided by polls and energy and some kind of crazy juju. But I care, too. And I voted. And now, we wait, and then, tomorrow, I will still be the woman I am. In my life, in my mess and my love and glory. It matters so much and it doesn’t seem to matter at all.

    • kt_writes

      See? I *knew* I wasn’t crazy. (Or, at least I’m not crazy alone…)

  • ThatGuyKC

    Amen. Thank you for this. I’m hoping for political infighting and mudslinging to taper down after today. It might be a pipedream, but the change can start with me.

  • Joanna

    This is what I needed to read as my votes are cast and the stress of waiting for results mounts. Thanks. (And I’d love to see the whole litany if you have permission to share it.)

  • themoderngal

    This is beautiful, Kristin. I think the sweet spot in life is when we find a good balance in things. I love: “finding the line between caring too little and caring too much.” That really is what it’s all about.