It’s a big day today.
And I’m not here to talk about one party or the other.
I’m here to remind us all that we are neighbors and friends before we are political parties. And we have good hearts that will still go on after the results of what has been pulling us apart for so long are unfurled.
Our family has a friend from Bulgaria who is an exceptional artist and photographer. Her name is Eva Koleva Timothy and parents often refer to her as our “adopted” sister because they love her so. She came to live with my family after my sister met her when she was serving a mission in Bulgaria almost thirty years ago. Saren and I were already off to college so we didn’t get to live with her, but my parents had the opportunity to sponsor her as she was getting her much dreamed for and sought after college degree. She was so full of life and gratitude and love that rubbed off on everyone she met.
I loved listening to the story she put on Instagram on the 4th of July this past summer because although I knew many things about her growing-up story, I never knew the depth and details of some of the things she talks about. She fought her heart out to come to America, for freedom. For opportunities. And to have the things so many of us take for granted. And she tells why in the little video she posted:
(Lots more details about Eva and her background in an article over HERE.)
Because of the freedoms she found here, she put herself to work and has become a renowned artist/photographer. Her photography has been displayed in galleries all over the world. Her latest project is called “The Lord is My Light” and she has figured out how to depict the life of Christ in a very unique and beautiful way.
Ok, so the reason I bring all this up on election day? Well, I think with all that has been going on lately: the division, the anger, the deep-rooted sorrow of our imperfect history, the readily accessible ways to post our frustrations and lash out at those who are different from us, those we can’t seem to see eye-to-eye with, we have forgotten.
Forgotten that we live in a land of opportunity.
Forgotten that people have given their lives to give us those freedoms. Is that always perfect? Is our history perfect? Of course not! We always have had things to work on and always will.
But somehow mixed up in the muddy waters of 2020 it seems many of us have forgotten that love is always the answer.
Forgotten that everyone has their own story.
Forgotten that we live in a land filled with good people, and good hearts…hundreds of thousands of whom we never hear from in social media or on the news. Good people who are looking to quietly go about strengthening the feeble knees, seeking to understand their “enemies,” “doing good” to those they can’t seem to see eye to eye with.
Because we can. That is what our founding fathers, as mixed up and “messy” as that whole process was, were trying to do.
And because THAT is what will bring us true happiness.
As we cut through the anger and frustration that will surely greet us in many avenues today, may we see past the negative things surrounding us and find someone to compliment.
Write a note of gratitude to someone we may not understand.
Lift up someone who is different from us.
Give someone the benefit of the doubt.
Because, my friends, THAT is where true happiness lies.
I love this idea another friend posted on Instagram a couple days ago:
I love that she says, “come Wednesday, we’re going to need a whole lot of Jesus to bring peace and harmony back into our nation.”
“No president or human can do this alone.”
“It’s up to us to come together and vote for Jesus!”
Lots of different thoughts today, but may we remember that what is most important will never come from lashing out and closing out those who are different from us. There is no way we can fully understand everyone around us coming from so many different places. But we can try.
One person at a time.
(art at the top by Caitlin Connolley)