An Election Day Prayer

Dear God,

I don’t why sadness
wraps itself like a blanket
around my chilly heart.

As temperatures dropped last night,
and Matt stole the covers,
I awoke to a coldness
that I just could not shake.

With icy fingers,
I watched a video by Valerie Kaur,
about loving ourselves,
others, and our opponents.

It moved me so deeply,
tears ran down my face.

She says, what if the darkness
that we face right now
is the darkness of the womb?

What if something is waiting to be born?

“Breathe, and push,”
She says.

She told a story, on her TedTalk,
that I thought would end with
hate.

Kaur shares that she knew the first Sikh man
murdered after 9/11,
because of people’s prejudice.

She went to his widow, and said,
is there anything
that you want to tell the nation?

She said, “Yes,
tell them
thank you.”

That “thank you” surprised me.
It started the watering in my eyes.

Why would the widow say thank you?

Because three thousand Americans,
strangers, had shown up at the funeral
to comfort her. They had heard the story
on the local news.

Yesterday, I texted with the Poor People’s Campaign (PPC)
to get out the non-partisan vote. Just last week
as I was texting for the PPC, people responded,
sometimes nicely, but often with obscenities
and harsh words. What’s the point?

Yet, studies show texting is effective.
Sometimes we feel like an island,
floating in the sea, never again
to see the mainland, or another person,
or another change.

But yesterday, everyone I texted, replied:
I contacted everyone I know.
I am calling. I am texting.
I am poll monitoring.
I am counting votes.

I invited someone to a 9 pm PPC event.

I will still be monitoring polls, she said,
I cannot go.

I appreciate you! I responded.

She said, I appreciate you.
It takes a village.

It takes a village to care.
To empower.
To change.
To love. To see.
To reach out.
To connect.
To humanize.
To remember.

To remember.

Dear God,
Today I remember
that we wounded people
of this nation belong to each other.

We belonged to each other yesterday.
We will belong to each other tomorrow.

And we have to now learn
to live with each other.

Help us to do that.
To repair the breaches.
To tend the wounds.

Dear God,
help us to be.

Amen.

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