No comparison

This is America.

I voted this morning. I always vote. But this time I waited in line for two hours to vote. I didn’t mind waiting per se; neither did my new best friends I made in those two hours.

But what we did mind, as is expected from our distinctive American flavor, was that only OUR line had to wait for two hours. “A – F” was backed up on two sidewalks and out into the parking lot, whereas “G – L” had ¼ as many people. We tolerated them. But “M – R” and “S – Z”: ah, they zipped right by and went straight into the gym. No standing outside. No swatting bees. No watching other voters go in and come out in the span of 30 minutes while we hadn’t rounded the corner of the sidewalk yet.

That’s what got us. Not the wait. The comparison. The fact that somebody had it better than we did. If we all had to wait for two hours, no problem. But the inequity of it stank. Our country was founded on equal rights and we weren’t getting ours. Don’t think we didn’t come up with alternative solutions. We had a fair number by the time we finally reached the booth.

It reminded me of Jesus’ parable with the all-day workers and the last-minute workers each getting paid the same amount. “No fair!” we cry. If we worked longer, we should get paid more, even if we did sign a contract for a set amount. But God doesn’t work that way. And America doesn’t either. Just because my parents and grandparents and great-grandparents were born in the U.S. doesn’t entitle me to more rights than a first-generation citizen.

And that’s good news.

Matthew 20:10-16
When those who were hired first saw that, they assumed they would get far more. But they got the same, each of them one dollar.
Taking the dollar, they groused angrily to the manager, "These last workers put in only one easy hour, and you just made them equal to us, who slaved all day under a scorching sun."
He replied to the one speaking for the rest, "Friend, I haven't been unfair. We agreed on the wage of a dollar, didn't we? So take it and go. I decided to give to the one who came last the same as you. Can't I do what I want with my own money? Are you going to get stingy because I am generous?"
Here it is again, the Great Reversal: many of the first ending up last, and the last first.

When we stop looking around to compare, and just are thankful for what we have, life gets good again.

As I stood in line, I did have moments of gratefulness for such a turnout. And that the weather was gorgeous. And that I didn’t have little kids on my hip.

And that in the good ol’ U.S.A., we can all stand in line together to vote; strangers, but fellow country-men, perhaps voting for opposite parties, yet getting along. And yeah, so we griped a little, but overall, we “A – F”s were happy to be there and proud to be Americans.

2 comments:

Brenda said...

Speaking as an "M-R" who walked right up to the table and was done with the whole thing in less than five minutes... ha ha.... I still think you are right that we are awfully caught up in what's fair. If God actually handed to us "what's fair"... we'd have a whole new perspective.

Kay said...

OK Lisa -- I didn't read this until tonight and I just laughed because I had the EXACT same experience as you did yesterday, being an "A-F" as well. What is up with that? I'm finding it very odd that your "A-F"s had the same issue as ours and all the other letters of the alphabet were just fine. And yeah, by the time I got thru the line, I was joking about making lunch plans with Jennifer and Lori who I got to know pretty well in that couple of hours! ha We did all try to help each other with our 'fairness' attitude as we dealt with the long line together and decided that we were very thankful for a beautiful day to enjoy outside. :-)

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