My Silent Witness
For the past six months I have been carrying on a “silent witness.” Granted, I’m not known for being brave with my political opinions in the public sphere. In fact – let’s face it – I’m a coward. This is true. I’m not proud of it.
But last May the campaigns, the presidential one in particular, were getting me down. I felt that I had to do something to keep myself from going crazy during the election season. So, I decided (so courageously!) that I would wear my Micah 6:8 necklace every day until the election madness was over. My silent witness simply says,
I’m not sure why I decided to go with that as my line in the sand. Maybe I thought I could judge each presidential candidate based on how they lived out the Hebrew scripture (surprise! – neither did very well – but one has definitely done better than the other, in my humble opinion).
The irony is not lost on me that this Sunday we’ll celebrate All Saints Day and that Tuesday is Election Day.
Celebrating All Saints Day is one of my favorite Sundays. In our church we light a candle for every saint that has gone to his or her great reward during the past year. The candle is lit and a bell is tolled. Ding! Gratitude wells up in me for the lives of these people. And, for the most part, these saints – unsung, not famous, and sometimes little known – have been the ones who have acted justly, loved mercy, and walked humbly throughout their whole lives. They have served as the excellent examples.
And yet, merely two days later, we are going to the polls to vote for one of two flawed people. Perhaps this is so painful because it reminds me of just how broken we are. Last night my church book group finished reading Bryan Stevenson’s heartbreaking yet hopeful book, Just Mercy. While fighting against an unjust “justice” system, Stevenson says,
“I do what I do because I am broken, too.
My years of struggling against inequality, abusive power, poverty, oppression, and injustice had finally revealed something to me about myself. Being close to suffering, death, executions, and cruel punishments didn’t just illuminate the brokenness of others; in a moment of anguish and heartbreak, it also exposed my own brokenness…
We are all broken by something. We have all hurt someone and have been hurt. We all share the condition of brokenness even if our brokenness is not equivalent.”
So, what do saints and an election have to do with generosity? I’m not quite sure, but I do know that both make me want to sink to my knees – one in deep gratitude for the broken yet beautiful lives they reveal to us and the other to be at God’s mercy for our country in our collective brokenness.
The day after, on November 9, I am going to continue to strive to live out Micah 6:8 – with or without my necklace on. And, I’m going to try to live into it more deeply each and every day.
Who’s with me?
Cesie Delve Scheuermann is a consultant in stewardship, development, and grant writing. Over the past decade, while working as a volunteer and part-time consultant, she helped raise over $2.5 million dollars for numerous non-profit organizations. When she needs a good political laugh, she watches “Gerald’s” campaign commercial. She was the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference Lay Leader from 2008-2012. Her position with the Conference is funded through a generous grant from the Collins Foundation. She is available to consult with churches. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/inspiringgenerosity.
If someone has forwarded this to you and you would like to subscribe to "Inspiring Generosity," click here. Miss an issue? Click here.
comments powered by Disqus
Cesie Delve Scheuermann is consultant in grant writing and stewardship/development working with the Conference. From 2008-12 she was the Conference Lay Leader for the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference.