Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Facing the Election, Doris Day, and New Storms

(Julio Cortez/AP)

The beauty of our country is that we have the right to vote and to argue freely about issues that affect us all. I am deeply grateful for that. Our right to vote was hard-won and no matter how lousy our choices this election season, I felt a sense of excitement and empowerment yesterday when I pressed the red button in the voting booth after making my choices. I love voting.

But it can be a tempting to see our heart's salvation as residing in a political party or ideology and to place our hopes in politicians. I found a wonderful recap of how I have been feeling about Election Day. This comes from the blog of Marc Paveglio:

"Inevitably, man is sure to fall into idolatry by substituting something finite for the infinite that he longs for. He is so wearied by the constant search for the ultimate meaning of everything that he projects himself onto God. He claims to understand the Mystery, but by trying to take possession of the great unknown he ends up manipulating other people."

And this brings me to...Hurricane Sandy and the upcoming winter storm that is about to blow into New Jersey.  My own family has been inconvenienced by the weather, no doubt about it. Life has yet to get back to its old rhythms. Many families are dealing with no heat in their homes. Our sons have split sessions of school this week because the high school still is without power so all the classes are happening at the middle school. They and their friends cheerfully report they are learning nothing (likely hyperbole) but that these days will help them to the state-mandated 180 days of school without messing up summer schedules.

The district where I work still has been unable to reopen its schools. Not all the schools have power yet, and some schools have no generators. I know administrators are working hard to reopen schools, but the fact is they are not open yet and we don't have a firm opening date yet.

So, this is the new normal for now. Our rhythms have been shifted for us. What we expected to happen, didn't.

It's up to me to adjust. This experience of doing without, of coping with unknowns, of dislocation, has definitely drawn our family closer to neighbors and friends, and given us a renewed sense that we live in a community, not just a collection of private homes and apartment buildings.

It's supposed to snow later today and winds are expected to gust up to 50 miles an hour here. While we still have power, I am going to bake cookies and prepare dinner. I also plan to work on some Christmas stockings I started knitting last night as the election results rolled in.

The certainty the human heart longs for is within our reach. Consider what Christ tells us:

"I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me, because I live and you will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father and you are in me and I in you." (John, chapter 14)

And then there is Doris Day....

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