Tuesday, November 04, 2008


I rendered unto Caesar this morning - I voted.

For me, this may be the most excited I have been about a presidential candidate since 1976. And, I think it may be as transformative an election as 1960. Or at least, I hope so.

Yet, as I stood in line, preparing to vote, I couldn't help but reflect on the rhetoric, the ads, the commentary about the election.

There was a lot of talk about folks who make $250,000 a year, or $200,000, or even more. But, where was the conversation about the single mother who struggles to clothe her children, to feed them, to help them get an education in schools with crumbling facilities? Or, the couple who works 3 jobs between them in order to pay medical bills?

There was concern about foreclosures, and those who may be facing such possibilities. But where was the discussion about the homeless, and the closing of shelters, the increased demand at food banks, the number of children who sleep in cars?

There were debates about the best way to 'rescue' Wall Street. But where was the open and honest discussion about those who are, or will be, standing in unemployment lines, while watching the executives land safely with their golden parachutes?

There was acrimony and accusations about 'spreading the wealth,' and how such a concept is alien to the American Way. But where was the person who would question the reality that it is always okay to spread the wealth upwards, but never downward, even if it is only a mere trickle.

Whether ironic, or providential, in the lectionary Gospel reading in a few weeks, we will once again confront the Jesus who reminds us that it is when we are clothing the naked, and stocking the shelves at a food pantry; when we are praying beside the bed of a neighbor in the hospital, and listening to a stranger sitting in a jail cell; when we hand the cup of grace to an immigrant, and receive the broken bread of life from an enemy; when we notice the lost, the least, the little, the last all around us, and pay them as much attention, as much passion, as much commitment as we do to the politicians and pundits -

then we will truly be rendering unto God.

I've voted. Now, the real work begins.

(c) 2008 Thom M. Shuman

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Wow, that was wonderful and you let truth be told.