Love Prepares

When my wife and I learned we were expecting our first baby, we devoured books on pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting. We started observing and talking with other parents we knew, looking for tips to keep in mind and models to emulate. We took a class on childbirth and practiced breathing exercises.

We loved this little baby and we wanted to be prepared!

In a sense, every four years, America gives birth to its future. And preparation is important, both for the responsibility and privilege of voting, and for seizing the new opportunities created by the election. If we stand with love – if we love our nation and our neighbors and our land – then our love will motivate us to prepare to vote wisely.

Here are three ways to prepare today for your vote tomorrow:

1. Get a sample ballot

You can search online for a ballot for your county that will include national, state, and local candidates and other ballot initiatives. You can use it to prepare yourself to vote intelligently, and you can bring your sample ballot in with you to the voting booth. Also – be sure to bring ID and anything else you may need. And just in case you witness problems or irregularities, it wouldn’t hurt to have your smart phone ready to record.

2. Consult relevant resources

If you’re a member of a political party, your local party website will have some recommendations on voting. You can get useful voter guidance from your faith community and related faith-based organizations too. (Faith in Public Life Voter’s Guide) You may want to call a trusted relative or friend and ask for their input. But in the end, it’s up to you to sift through their guidance and make your own decision.

3. Center yourself in prayer or meditation

Standing with love means voting with love – not simply from duty but from a heart that seeks justice, compassion, and peace for all your neighbors as for yourself.

Brian McLaren is a former English teacher and a former pastor. He is now a writer, speaker, and activist. His new book is The Great Spiritual Migration.