Rather than voting this year, I’m dreaming about doing something that would inspire REAL change in the world. I haven’t missed an election since turning 18 and I can’t help but feel a sense of hopelessness. I’ve spent energy on campaigns, heated conversations, and most of all mental anguish. All that for nothing, in my opinion. Our country (and our impact on the global community) isn’t getting any better- it’s getting much worse. I’ve let politics (media, government, and candidates) have way to big of a voice in my life. For that I want to repent.
But the day before the election, I have a better idea that is giving me a different kind of hope for what might really change my neighborhood, city, state, country, and eventually the world. It’s crazy really…
Last week two brothers across the street from my house got into a fight. One grabbed a medal baseball bat and gave the other a thorough beating. Only their mom tried to break up the fight and no one called the cops. I saw him the other day, limping down the street, still in obvious pain.
Everyone on our block despises that house. They deal drugs, fight, and boom their stereos.
So part of me is inclined to vote for a democrat. Someone who claims they will fund programs and add cops to bring change in my neighborhood.
But unfortunately, in the end, programs won’t really change anything, I don’t think. And I think those brothers are sort of beyond some cheesy government self help program. More cops will just put them in jail. My hope is not for my neighbors to go to jail, my dream is for them to be transformed. I hope that by some sort of chance in grace they will somehow, in some way, get pulled out of the mass grave that they are living in.
So instead of voting tomorrow, I’m going to bake chocolate chip cookies. I’m going to pull them out of the oven when they are still soft and chewy. I’m going to put them in a tuperware container and march it across the street to the brother who is healing from the brunt of a bat and the brother who is so calloused that his conscience caved in.
I’m sorry, but I feel like voting in hopes of a candidate who will change something doesn’t really do anything. It all seems to be one more thing that waistes money on television adds, polarizes family members, divides congregations, and breeds fear, hatred and anger. Democracy isn’t going to bring the Kingdom of God, but I’m convinced that cookies might spark a change in my neighborhood.
The chewy dough might bring healing to deep bruises. The soft morsels might melt away the callous around the conscience. It could possibly lead to a shared meal and shared lives.
I met Michelle Bachman back when I attended Northwestern College, so I’ve had a bit of an interest in following her campaign. A couple of weeks ago while speaking at Living Word Church, she claimed to be a “fool for Christ” for her decision to run for U. S. Congress. She has spent so much of her political career and campaign dividing and fighting (For the record, I don’t think that Patty Wetterling is any better). In my opinion, Bachman is not a fool for Christ. I think that a “fool for Christ” is someone like Mother Theresa. It is someone who gives up everything to run to Calcutta (the center of suffering). Not someone who gives up everything to run to Washington (the center of corruption).
It would be so foolish to think that chocolate chip cookies could change something, isn’t it? Well, if you think of it, pray that God uses my homemade snacks for his work of redeeming, renewing, and transforming.