Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Threatened with Tootsie Rolls on Election Day
I've never been too fearful, even when I've looked violence and evil in the face when attacked.
As I've gotten older, some fears are surfacing, if just for moments when I feel tired and weak. I'd heard talk that in some cities today that people trying to vote have been intimidated by violence and jeered. Bad news. Would it shake me? Could I walk by and still vote my conscience in the face of those who do not respect freedom? It reminds me of the days of thugs and Carpetbaggers back in the post-Civil War days (not saying that I witnessed that first hand, mind you.)
I live in rural America. Bad things do happen here, but usually not the intimidation experienced at the voting places and the threat of violence toward those who think our country's Constitution is good as it is. I stood in line today for two hours with a police officer, a guy whose yard is full of the opposite party's propaganda and whose wife taught my kids and his kids did school projects with mine,a doctor, a college kid with a sharp wit, a beauty operator who had to leave line to go do someone's hair, and dozens of others whom I've known since I moved here. We chatted about motorcycles, kids, medical issues, the fact that in all of our years voting that we'd never had to wait so long to vote! But today I looked fear in the face at the polls. Teenagers, out of school(from my son's class at the high school) sitting in front of the fire station (educational experience???I think not, but hey) where I vote, jammed a basket of Tootsie Rolls in my face.
It came at me with both barrels. My stomach growled. Did I even eat breakfast? I couldn't recall. Should I cross my party line to accept Tootsie Rolls? The other side ran to get water bottles at the only gas station in town next door. Now, if he'd have thrown in the handbreaded tenderloins from the gas station (known to be the best,)I might have caved.
At that moment a lady, overcome by excitement, unseasonable heat or the 2 hour wait in tiny Matthews (population less than 400,) hit the ground. Fortunately, the ambulance was right there. I hope that she was ok, and prayed she would be fine as they loaded her onto the cervical board. They took the 15 mile trip with sirens blaring. We went back to our chatting and waiting.
I soon passed the Tootsie Roll station in the two-hour wait line.
I haven't seen that many people in Matthews since the Covered Bridge Festival. If we could bottle the people in Matthews and could get you to drink our Kool Aid, there would be no need for this hatefulness I'm hearing about around the country today.
I have never prayed harder or more frequently in the past as I have for this election. All of my boys (except the too-young high school kid) and my husband and I voted today. We feel a need to at least have our say. I hope it is not the last time we have a free election in this country, but no one knows what tomorrow morning will bring.
I do not fear tomorrow because I know Whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able.
But, my flesh is sometimes weak, and I do like Tootsie Rolls.