Monday, November 7, 2016

To My Children on the Eve of the Election....

Shawnie, Emma, Kiley, Keegan, Dylan and Lucy...

My Beautiful Children,

I am writing this letter to you on the Eve of the 2016 Presidential Election.  This night will surely be a defining night for our country.  One that will be written of in the history books. 

There has never been a more divisive presidential race in our history.  Brothers have turned against brothers, neighbors against neighbors.  The hateful language of both parties has been like a punch in the gut to all of us.  This election has been draining on the hearts and minds of every citizen.  The worst part of this election is that in the end, no one wins.  We will either get a President who is an arrogant, misogynistic fool or we will end up with a President who, most everyone agrees, is a criminal.  A criminal that will never be held accountable by a country run by thieves and liars.  Our representatives and senators stand silent and in solidarity with their party, rarely crossing the party line, to right wrongs or help bring about positive change.  This election will literally change the world as we know it.  And I feel strongly it will not be for the better.

You are my most precious treasures and I feel that tomorrow we will officially leave you with a world that has sold you many lies.  They have wrapped those lies in pretty little political packages.  They have given them to us as the truth.  They have done such a good job selling them to us.  They have made us fear that we must choose one form of evil over another.  They have been so evil- in words and deeds- that they have forced us to look deep inside and examine what is important to us at the end of the day.  This has been challenging for so many of us.  Especially those wishing to do the right thing and vote for the best candidate.

So tonight I want to remind you of what is true and right in the world.  I want to remind you, so that when you are faced with the heavy burden of voting for fools and criminals, you will remember what matters.  Mostly, I want to share this, because I need you to know how much I thought about my vote and discerned what I needed to do.  This list of 3 truths helped me decide who to cast my ballot for.

1. Protect the Least of Us... Always

It is your duty as a child of God to defend all life.   Even when your leaders scream from their campaign stages that "Black Lives Matter!"  "Blue Lives Matter!"  Hear me when I say to you this truth, ALL LIVES MATTER

From the moment of conception to the moment of death, you are called to protect all of God's children, especially the most vulnerable.  Those without voices, who have no advocates to fight for them.  These are the least of our brothers and sisters.   Remember this does not only mean protecting babies in the womb.  This means protecting our elderly who sit alone in nursing homes without visitors or advocates.  Vulnerable children in abusive environments.  Children in foster care who go through their childhood without the safety and security of having a family.  Homeless men, women and children.  Prisoners convicted of the most awful crimes.  Refugees, even from countries that harbor terrorists.  This is the real challenge and call of our faith. 

Remember that all of these humans are God's creation and the ones in our society that have no voice.  These are the least of us.  These are the ones the politicians exploit to further their own agendas.  .  They build their careers on the backs of these people.  Hold them accountable.  Be educated on the social stances of your leaders.  Make sure that they will help others.  This means that they "give people poles not fishes".  Nothing is for free in this world, you need to provide opportunities, not handouts, for all people to live a long, healthy life.  Use your votes to make sure they protect ALL of God's children.  From womb to tomb. This is your duty.

2. The Greatest of These is Love

Remember, dear children, that God had many commandments but the most important one is Love One Another, As I Have Loved You.  We are all sinners in the eyes of God.  There is no sin greater than the ones we have marking our own souls.  There will be many people in your life that will stand in judgment of others.  Know that the only judgment that is right and true comes from our Father in heaven.  He knows who we are... the good, the bad and the ugly.  And, he loves us anyways.  He tells us that this is the way we must love each other.  No matter what.

Don't ever forget love is an action not a word.  To love, you must put forth effort.  Loving someone is easy when your path is smooth and clear.  The real challenge is loving someone even when they have hurt you deeply.  Or loving someone who is at their most unlovable.  It is not easy to hug a homeless person or spend time with the elderly.  It is definitely not easy opening up your home to those who need shelter or to take the time to feed the hungry.  How about visiting a felon?  Taking care of the sick?  Burying the dead?  That truly challenges you to think about what love looks like. 

Research your candidates and see how and if they have lived a life of love.  Not love of self but love for others.  A leader is a person who puts themselves last, not first.  A leader is a person of action, not words.  Look for leaders who love like this.  When you can't find them, become one.

3. God's Got This

My favorite bible passage is...
"Don't worry about anything.  Instead pray about everything.  Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done".- Philippians 4:6-7

Pray all the time.  Prayer does not have to be mindless recitations.  Prayer can be simple meditating, a song, a drawing, a conversation.  Prayer is a powerful instrument of change.  My babies, remember, you are not in control.  You never have been.  You must always do the right thing, even when no one is looking.  But, you must know, even if you do the right thing, the outcome may not be what you think it should.  This is when you must lay your troubles at the foot of the cross.  He's got this.  He always has and always will.

So, before you cast a vote, such as the one I will cast tomorrow, take the time to say a prayer.  Call on the mighty St. Michael or as Paul McCartney once sang, "When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me speaking words of wisdom, Let It Be" {calm down Beatles fans... I know this is about his mother but I like to think he was singing about Blessed Mother}.  Never stop praying.  God hears the voices of all his children. 

There it is my children.  The thoughts I am holding in my heart tonight.  This is the wisdom I want to share with you.  The world is not broken.  Don't buy into the lies that we are told.  No matter who wins tomorrow, the world will keep spinning.  Even though they have tried to make us lose hope and faith, keep in mind that we are still a nation that is great.  A nation that is still full of good people.  A nation that is so strong, even in its weaknesses, that no election will ever destroy us.  Instead it will hopefully make us think deeply about what it is that truly matters to us.  What are the defining truths that will guide us going forward.  While this election is scary, I am also choosing to believe that it has also given us a newfound desire to leave this world a much better place for our children. 

As I cast my vote tomorrow I will be thinking of each of you.  I will be voting as a voice for the least of us.  I will be voting with love in my heart.  Love that I vow will continue to be an action not just a meaningless word.  And, lastly, after much prayer, I will vote trusting that whatever the outcome, God's got this. 

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