Saturday, November 1, 2008

VOTE - only 2 1/2 days away

With the election only 2 ½ days from today, I wanted to get one more idea and opinion out there. Hope is on the horizon. Hope is within reach. Hope is a reality. But I’m afraid hope will not come from either candidate.

Don’t get me wrong, both McCain and Obama are great leaders and I’m sure either candidate will treat the office with dignity and respect. But the promises and futures each of them project to us, the voters, simply won’t happen, nor will their plans restore the lives to the extent that they promise.

This past year I read a great book by one of my favorite authors and activists, Shane Claiborne. In his book, Jesus for President, he highlights the failures of government. The systematic inability of true restorative grace is something he follows through leaders, militaries, and governments from the earliest of human culture to the current. People groups have always placed their hopes in the strong, the popular, the mighty, and culture after culture rises or falls to power and finds itself in a looming exile. The only true restorer is Christ. The only true hope lies in Jesus’ promise of a new humanity, which acts out when we live as his hands and feet to the world.

Never in an elected official.

You’d think the Old Testament would teach the lesson.

My biggest fear and sadness is in those individuals that have placed SO much hope in the candidates. I just finished an article that followed each campaign trail and talked about the fanatics that find themselves so moved that they’re literally brought to tears and emotional ecstasy while at the campaign rallies. I cringe with sadness for these individuals because their hopes will be let down. I cringe because they are brought to tears with the eloquence of powerful politicians, yet remain stoic and dry when they read the words of the Christ, and/or experience his work all around them.

Being in Haiti really drove this notion home for me. I talked with several Haitians about the political scene there, to hear and feel their complete surprise and heart ache from broken promise after promise. The past president of Haiti promised and was known as “The President of the People.” But after several years in office, and failure after failure, and lie after lie, and selfish taking of power after selfish taking of power, he was whisked away during the night and dropped into exile where he now resides somewhere in Africa. These people were sincerely distraught as to how the president of the people could promise to be for them and not restore their country. How their country could remain in such a state of disrepair after the peoples president convinced and promised otherwise. Something tells me Mr. Claiborne is onto something.

Well, obviously things aren’t that different here in the U.S.

Folks, please vote. Please engage the political process. But please, please, please, don’t be one of those individuals that has put so much hope in either McCain or Obama, that we forget that Jesus, through us, is the real advocate and hope for change.


p.s. check out Jesus for President, by Shane Claiborne, for more on this (and stated much more eloquently).

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