My husband and I had the talk today.
Absentee ballots are being printed and we had to decide – who will we actually vote for? Though we live in Australia, we have dual citizenship and are very grateful to vote in two lands we both adore. We’ve been following these candidates for what seems like ages and we have wrestled quite a lot with how to influence with our vote this year.
As it turns out, we are planning to vote for different people.
For the record, isn’t this the beauty of freedom and choice?! Two people married and we don’t have to come to consensus; the value of each of us has been recognised and we each get a choice. I’m well aware this right is not afforded to everyone in the world and I do not take it lightly. And yet as I shared my plan and conviction, I still looked at this kind man I call my husband and said, “Are you going to be okay with us? With us not being united in this?”
He smiled cheekily as if to say, “Right – as though this is something I’d worry about.”
And it’s true. He’s confident and empowering. (And he doesn’t worry about anything.) But something in me felt like unity may need to be around making the same choice. Would this be a wedge in our marriage? Is it a sign we are drifting apart? I mulled on it silently as we drove around and then concluded, “You’re right. It really doesn’t matter, does it? The important thing is that We share the same values and we want to get to the same place. We both have considered and just believe in different ways to get there.”
I have to say I have a lot of joy and grief over what I see my friends communicating this election cycle. Joy because hello – thank you Canada for your hilarious ads and the memes and videos of the two major party candidates are often refreshingly humorous amid the otherwise doomsday narratives.
And grief because words are easy to say when you are speaking from afar but much harder to say when we let Godly compassion lead the way. I’ve felt tremendous amounts of pain at the words I’ve seen well meaning friends share on both sides of every issue.
I know I’m also often too quick to speak, sometimes sharing rhetoric void of love, over thoughtful conviction. But the reality is, when you stop and hear the story of a friend who was pregnant with a baby they knew would die minutes after birth and hear why she chose the way she did, the issues are a lot less issue and a lot more personal. (She carried that beautiful girl to the end and that baby has changed life upon life by the way in her short time sharing the air we breathe, by the way.) So this election, let’s pause and listen. Not just to what the candidates are saying… but to one another. Let’s be values led and walk with conviction. Let’s find unity around where we are going, not just how we are getting there. Let’s start with compassion and be aligned in truth.
If you vote differently than someone else, be grateful you even have the choice.
And if your least favourite candidate wins the vote, remember the hope against all hope is in you! Your words and your actions and your prayers actually mean something. YOU have the power. Use it wisely.