Last Tuesday, Election Day, was a day filled with ups and downs.
It started with an up as I did my civic duty and voted. Someone once said, “Wanna feel powerful? Vote!” I left my precinct polling center pleased and satisfied and yes, even powerful, that I had voted my values and had played my part.
Down came later when my pick for the presidency lost, as did one of the important propositions I hoped would pass.
An up came when an important proposition passed later in the evening.
A predictable down came as the candidate I liked conceded the election.
However, the day ended with an up. Let me tell you about it.
Throughout the day my wife Michelle, a homeschooling mom, had been teaching and exposing our four youngest children to the voting process in the United States. She took them to the polling center where they witnessed their mother vote. Next they came to our church building (a high-volume polling site) and helped provide coffee, cookies and free Bibles to those in the community. With others in their homeschooling ministry here at First Christian (LIFE), they conducted a mock election, in which John McCain won. The lone descending vote came from 2-year-old Tavian Cross who voted for “Badack Odama”! Later at home the children, armed with red and blue crayons, watched the national news and colored in states accordingly.
My highest ‘up’ of the day came watching my three beautiful biracial children watching the new president elect’s victory speech. Likewise, when the Obama children walked down the platform with their parents, my children’s faces lit up. Here was a man and his family who actually looked like them. They saw themselves in his face. They saw themselves in the hand-holding bounce of their contemporaries. Honestly, until Tuesday, none of the forty-three portraits of former presidents in their textbook shared similarities; but now, the highest office in the land had familiarity for them, and yes, even attainability.
As we watched on, Michelle and I tried feebly to understand the magnitude of what we were witnessing, manifested in the many tear-filled eyes of African Americans in attendance. Our intellect helped us relate, but only in part. Although we wanted to ascend to their heights of elation, we were mere party crashers. They alone understood the toil; they alone knew the triumph.
At the end of the day, my guy lost. As a person of faith, I’m praying for our great country and for Barack Obama and his family. His success is all of our success. Simply put, I’m sincerely grateful to live in a place where such immense power can be shifted so peacefully. Lastly, I’m thankful to live in a land where at the high and regrettable cost of a sad chapter in our national history, I can now say to my children without reservation, “If you work hard enough, you can be anything you want to be – even the president!”