These are timely words. As we approach next week’s election the rhetoric has been as vitriolic as I have ever experienced in a presidential election. Both sides would have us believe the other candidate is Lucifer incarnate.
The sad truth is that both candidates are flawed, even as we all are. Neither of these two candidates will ever make it to top of the most likable list. But, that’s not the issue.
At the end of the day it isn’t about likability, is it? On November 8th we must vote for the candidate that we feel will do the best job at leading our nation in the direction we think is best.
I plan on casting my ballot for the candidate with a lifetime record of public service, the one easily the most qualified and most experienced. I could not in good conscience ever vote for someone that uncontrollably spews hatred, racism, bigotry in every conversation. I want a leader with plans, not an egocentric ass with nauseatingly-repeated one liners telling us how much everyone adores him.
We must vote. We must vote our conscience. We must not be afraid to do what is right. Otherwise, the wounds we will inflict on our country are small compared with the wounds will will inflict on our own souls.
From the Talmud comes this poignant story of the return of the Messiah.
Rabbi Yoshua ben Levi asked Elijah, “when will the Messiah come?’
Elijah replied, “Go ask him yourself.”
“Where is he?”
“Sitting at the gates of the city.”
“How shall I know him?”
“He is sitting among the poor covered with wounds. The others unbind all their wounds and bind them up again. But he unbinds one at a time and then binds it up again, saying to himself, ‘Perhaps I shall be needed. If so, I must always be ready so as not to delay for a moment.”
How will we recognize the Messiah? He will among the poor, the broken and the wounded. And although he is also broken and wounded, he will be the one ready to meet the needs of those crying for help.
Maybe that is how we who call ourselves his disciples should be recognized. Can we be found among the poor, the broken and the wounded. If not, maybe we should start looking for the Messiah ourselves.