Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Thanks to my friend E over at phigmint for today's topic. (She needs to give us a new post, by the way. It's time.) Nothing like a breezy start to a month's blogging. Eeeeee crap.

So today I explore "mercy" as my topic.

Funny where my brain goes right away with these things. To the election today. Have you heard? There's an election going on. Some people are running for office. I hear it might be busy downtown because of it. Just a little.

So anyway, my first thought of mercy is that it seems to always be something I am hoping or wishing for. Growing up, I pleaded for mercy when my father beat me. After I left home, I pleaded for mercy from cops who stopped me for speeding, from professors whose classes I had skipped and exams I had flunked, and from God for the pile of shit I had made of my life at so young an age. Sometimes I got the mercy I sought, sometimes I did not. It always seemed arbitrary.

Today I am thinking of mercy in a different light. I am praying for mercy for myself and for my country. I want the burden of my government's bad behavior to be lifted from us. I pray that the fates will be merciful and permit Barack Obama to be elected to be U.S. President. I pray that the universe will show mercy on us and that we might be able to keep the planet from melting and that we have not done more damage than can be undone if we get to work right away once we have a president who believes in science instead of superstition.

I also pray that there is mercy in the election results. Emotions have been at a fever pitch around the country for weeks. Fistfights have broken out over candidate preference, and little children have been denied Halloween candy if their parents did not support the "correct" candidate. I have been a part of that anger, that vitriol, that rage.

I pray that the victors in this thing will be able to show mercy to the vanquished. I pray that we win, but I also pray that we be gentle in our victory. I do not know if I am capable of that kind of mercy right now. I am still so raw, so hurt, so resentful about what has been done in my name, by my government that I want revenge.

I pray that somehow I will have the grace to be merciful. This goes with the humility/humiliation discussion I had yesterday. Humility means I am glad for my candidate's victory, but that I do not dance a jig upon the head of his opponent. The jig-dancing? That would be humiliation, and that would be wrong.

Both sides in this battle are bruised and bloodied. Both victor and vanquished will need nurturing and healing when this is over. No matter who wins the White House, the other will have to go back to the Senate and try to work there. The Senate is filled with Republicans and Democrats and two Independents. Everyone, and I do mean EVERYONE took a stand on this thing, and those stands were vocal, emotional, personal, and nasty. Now that the contest is over, all of those folks are going to have to sit down together in a chamber with 100 seats and work together to get things done. That will require grace and mercy. That will require no gloating, no rubbing of noses in foul things, no noogies, no schoolyard nyeah-nyeah-you've-got-cooties stuff.

Please, whatever powers there are out there, teach us how to be merciful. Please show us how to be the merciful people we ask of others. Please let us not gloat. Please let us reach out a hand in community so that we can work together to make our nation and our world a better place. May we be as merciful in victory as we would ask of our opponents if the roles were reversed.

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