Week 10: Love When It Counts

The week of voting has come.

It’s an understatement, I know, to say that many of us are relieved it’s almost over.

Many of us share the sense that this election cycle has stirred up things in our national psyche that are unhealthy, toxic, and dangerous. We’ve heard stories of immigrant children being bullied at school, Muslim moms being insulted on the street, and people of color being harassed in a store or at a sporting event. We’ve also seen more than our share of manipulative political ads on radio and TV, not to mention nasty rants in our social media feeds.

So, we begin this election week with three words for people who stand with love:

1. Prepare

For most of us, along with presidential candidates, there will be local candidates and issues that we will have the opportunity to vote on. Often we’ll need to take a few minutes to a few hours to prepare to vote intelligently on the issues before us. (More on that tomorrow.)

2. Vote

After all this ugliness, it would be a terrible waste to not raise your voice and vote. It may be a breeze or it may be inconvenient. It may give you a rush of joy or it may not be terribly enjoyable. You may feel that your choosing the less disappointing of two disappointing candidates, or you may be thrilled to cast a vote for someone you respect and trust. Either way: get out and vote if you possibly can.

3. Repeat

Yes, we only get to vote once. But democracy doesn’t simply depend on us voting with ballots. Every day, we prepare to face the world with love. Every day we have the opportunity to cast different kinds of ballots. In fact, we’ll come back to that theme at the end of the week.

It’s an important week in human history. America needs people who will stand with love this week, no matter who wins, who loses, and what happens as a result.

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.