It’s election day. Soon it will be over. And the effects of the day will extend for many years, touching the lives of those who voted as well as those who failed to vote, who wanted to vote but couldn’t, who couldn’t have cared less, and who, possibly, aren’t even alive yet.
My friend John Colon recently posted on Facebook:
I just voted. As has been stated before, it’s the one day when there are no rich or poor as one person one vote makes us all equal. Voting has always been an emotional experience for me after I have voted. Yet, this morning as I was preparing for my day, I was thinking about the people who have influenced my life and who helped me become the man I am today. I noted the diversity of people who have mentored me, my family, friends and peers, and those whom I have had the privilege to serve and lead. And I thought to myself, “Indeed, it does take a village.” Vote wisely today, friends. This is not an election about material wealth, self-centered desires or fear and hatred. It’s about community, welcoming the stranger, loving your neighbor as yourself, faith, hope and love.
The people John credits with influencing his beliefs were witnesses in daily life, demonstrating to John and to the world around them the values they held dear and the beliefs that shaped their lives. Each of us, in our daily lives, witness in that same way. That witness – perhaps more than any intentional acts of charity or piety or faithfulness – is our true ministry. God willing, our lives and our witness serve as our proclamation of God’s good news. Or perhaps, a proclamation of our unbelief. Or our worship of someone or something other than the Holy One.
In the weeks and months ahead, may our lives offer to those around us a transformative example, as John experienced. May we “show forth [God’s] praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives.” May we embody the presence of Christ in our daily interactions. May we practice being part of the Jesus Movement in every aspect of our daily life.
As St. Francis said, “Preach the Gospel at all times. When necessary, use words.”