History

I was caught off guard today by my own emotions as I signed my name beneath my voter number in a dingy classroom behind a storefront church. The women who stood outside; the women staffing the table where I signed in; the women whose backs I could see already positioned in their voting booths in front of me; the toddler in the stroller beside my voting station: all African American. And it was like suddenly the weight of Barack Obama’s candidacy hit me like a wave and tears choked my throat as I explained to Aaron what we were doing.

It hit me again tonight as I spoke with our pastor and heard the emotion in his voice: the significance of this election for him, for his parents and grandparents; and watching his toddler son play, unaware of a monumental shift taking place around him.

And watching the speech in Chicago brought tears to me eyes as well. But it wasn’t the faces of Oprah or Jesse that did it but the fact that a young black man I knew since his junior high years stood in that crowd tonight, proud, hopeful, expectant. And all of the things I told him and so many others for so many years about what they could do or be or accomplish suddenly felt a little bit more true.

6 thoughts on “History”

  1. Erika, it’s so nice to see a positive message about the US election from a Christian!!

    I really hope that Obama’s being elected will be healing for your country, and will be an inspiration for many. One of my friends wrote this morning how he was frustrated that the younger generation vote on wanting to see change, but don’t realise that they have to and can be the change they want to see.

    My prayer would be that people – the downtrodden, the broken hearted, the marginalised – would work together and work hard to stand up and be that change!

  2. It felt like I was walking on the moon.

    I hugged the tiny, little African-American lady who was working the voting booth that I punched the buttons at. Well, she hugged me. Or maybe we hugged each other because we were exuberant.

    What a day. What a day. I can’t believe I’ve lived to see it.

  3. I think this is one of the greatest days in American history. I know I felt so great voting yesterday and know that I was apart of a history event in American history. I truly believe that the walls of racism in America have fallen. I believe that there is no more excuse when it come to race. No one can blame their race for failures. Any no matter what race can become anything they put their heart to and dream of becoming. It was so wonderful to see whites, blacks, hispanics, asian, and other races comming together as one and making such a differnce for America. I am praying for those believers who are believing the lies about Obama. I pray that they will change their hearts and come together to make this country what it always has been, a place of opportunity for everyone.

    I think it is so important and wonderful that Obama in his speach last night called all Americans to do what they can do to make America great once again.

    Thank you for this great post.
    Keep up the great work you do with this blog. It is definatly one of my favs.!:-)

  4. I wish I had made this observation, but I will pass it on (from my friend, Josh Brown, of IAmJoshBrown.com):

    Obama was in a public place in a sea of multicultural, diverse people. McCain was in a private ballroom at a posh hotel in a sea of homogenized folks (white).
    Kinda sums up the difference in the campaigns overall.

  5. i have always been frustrated with the fact that most christians i know were very afraid of obama becoming president. but, now, i really can’t believe it after seeing all those thousands of americans, all over the country gathering with tears in their eyes, rejoicing TOGETHER, over this man becoming the next leader of our country and the free world. if that isn’t the kingdom of God, showing just how much people want what is good and are willing to say it with one loud voice, then i’m not sure what is. i LOVED tuesday!!!

  6. B”H

    Hi Pastor Erika,

    Thanks for writing this kind and friendly post. A lot of us, believers all over the country, whether black, white, Latino, Asian, First Nation or etc. have been torn, within and without, over the choice for President in this year’s election. Being an Afro-American believer, I decided to take a non-partisan position in public. There was a general assumption, that seemed to grow stronger and stronger especially after the Dem. convention right up to election night, that all Afro-Americans were supporting Sen. Obama, simply based on a kind of racial comraderie. On many of the blogs that I frequent, there were discussions of whether a Christian could support Sen. Obama. I felt that both both positions were narrow and presumptuous.

    Standing in Grant Park (Chicago) on Election Night, with my 18 yr. old daughter, who was a first-time voter, in a sea of over 200 thousand people was quite exhilarating. There was a general sense of unity and joy all through the evening, but especially after the announcement that Sen. Obama had now become Pres.-elect Obama. I don’t like Pres.-elect Obama’s pro-choice position on abortion, but I think his winning of the election is about something much greater than partisan politics.

    I wrote a post on my site that you might find interesting.

    Blessings,

    Shlomo

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