11/02/04 — It’s over! The electioneering is done, and we’re still neighbors

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It’s over! The electioneering is done, and we’re still neighbors

The intensity of people’s views about the elections has strained friendships and caused all manner of bent-browed consternation. It’s time to lighten up!

The election is over, we are all still here together, and God is in His heaven. Whoever has won, it’s okay.

This is a true story:

A mountain preacher named Ronald Holland was preaching about love. He needed to, because it was election season and the electioneering had been brutal. Feelings ran high in the community.

They also ran high in the church, because its membership included the chairmen of both the Democratic and Republican parties. They sat on opposite sides, each with his own family and followers.

Sometimes people gazed across the small santuary with expressions that showed something less than Christian brotherhood.

Rev. Holland’s message that Sunday was that all this feeling about the election was okay, but that Christians are instructed first to love one another. And whoever won elective office, he said, there was one thing the voters wouldn’t change: God would still be God.

He must have said it in a powerful way. During the invitational hymn, one of the party chairmen sidled out of his pew and walked hesitantly down toward the altar. On the other side of the church, the other chairman saw him, and he too walked slowly to the front. There, they met, embraced, wept and knelt for prayer side by side — two men who now realized that the things that joined them together were stronger and more important by far than the things that separated them.

We in Wayne County could learn something from those two mountain men.

Published in Editorials on November 2, 2004 12:07 PM