2012-11-03

Early Voting

It felt like church: sacred, moving.
Gathering at the temple/precinct with my neighbors
I say hello to the greeter, am known, identified.
I receive my order of service, the ovals to fill in.
My neighbors and I have come together because we, the people, have work to do.
This is our liturgy, which means “the work of the people.”

The sacramental power is stronger when scripture study prepares the way.
Whatever your scriptures -- Vedas, Sutras, the Psalms of the Bible or of Walt Whitman, epistles from Paul or Thomas Merton or Thich Nhat Hanh -- studying them deepens your worship.
For this worship, the assigned scriptures are newspapers, magazines, candidate records and statements.

I go into the confessional booth and pray.
Before I pick up the felt-tip marker,
I bring my palms together,
take a moment,
feel the touch of god.

I am aware of my expansive vastness,
My tiny smallness,
And the sacrament before me,
this paper wafer transubstantiated body politic of christ,
this marker-ink wine, the black blood of the people, chosen, choosing.

This is the difference a vote makes, no other.
I know the math:
the chances I’ll die in a traffic accident driving to the polls
are about one hundred thousand times greater
than the chance that any candidate I vote for will win by one vote.
Determining an outcome cannot be the reason I take this communion.
A vote is a prayer, and changes things the same way: by changing the one who does it.

I cast my ballot bread crumb upon the waters, causing no one’s victory or defeat, merely
Joining with something larger,
Participating in the infinity of history,
Lifted out of myself into the shared soul of
130 million voters,
6 billion humans on the planet,
all life that ever was or ever will be.
World without end amen.
Amen.