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This could perhaps seem to be a postscript to yesterday’s post about patience but, for me, it’s also a reminder of the privilege I have to live where I do—in the United States of America, I mean. Sometimes these days I am sad when I speak of or write the letters USA because of all the discord that exists in our country right now. It seems that the “U” (United) is tottering on a precipice as we face our Election Day next Tuesday. This year is different, however, allowing many people to more easily exercise that most precious right of voting. Because of the threat of disease we have many options of place and time to vote.

Yesterday was my sister’s birthday and I consciously made the decision to vote on that day as a sort of bow to her years of ministry in service to our government. I was hoping for good weather and lines that were not too long although the more important thing was the hope of lots of people doing their civic duty! It was a rather strange but somehow quite meaningful event. Because we were all masked, conversation was at a minimum; only couples could be seen close enough to talk to one another. The early rain had stopped and as we snaked toward the door of the building (interestingly named “Cooperative Extension – Taste New York”) the sun came out to brighten the mood of this quiet bunch, adding a peaceful quality to the event as everyone waited their turn, keeping a safe distance but moving steadily together toward the doors of opportunity.

As I moved forward, I became aware of the diversity in the crowd as well as our unity of purpose and intent. I began to pray then for our country and the people in front of and behind me in that line. I prayed for the youngest, for the lady with her little dog and for the elderly woman with a cane whose resolve was evident in her slow progress to the door where (blessedly) she was invited by everyone to pass along before them. I prayed in gratitude for the poll workers and for peace in the coming week, that all might be safe. and I prayed in thanksgiving for the privilege of living in this country and for the stamina we need now to navigate the challenges we face as a nation.

My prayer for us continues as today I pray: God bless us all and God bless the United States of America!