Every Tuesday morning, I drag my bleary-eyed self out of bed and drive to my granddaughter’s school. A few months ago, my daughter Danielle started a community English class for any parents interested in improving their skills. At first, it felt like such a sacrifice, to wake up 30 minutes early and drive a half-hour to help with whatever Danielle needed.
Little did I know that Tuesday’s would quickly become the highlight of my week . . .
As we gathered together on this tumultuous Election Day, my daughter did a little lesson on voting and emotions. She asked the women to share with each other if they were able to vote in their country of origin–and how they felt about this election.
The conversations that unfolded were fascinating. I sat across from Petra, whose family arrived from Afganistan only a month ago. Her husband worked for the US military, she told me, and they were forced to flee their homeland because of death threats by their own government.
I asked Petra if she could vote back home, and she nodded. “Yes, but no matter who we vote for, the same person has been in power for over 20 years now. It is very bad.”
She is very excited to be in America. They are safe. She has a degree in electrical engineering and was not able to get a job in her own country because she is a woman. She is excited about the opportunities here.
Next to me sat my friend, Bela. She moved to the US from Somalia 20 years ago and planned to vote today.
“Who are you going to vote for?” I asked
“Not Hillary or Trump, I don’t like either of them. Maybe Gary Johnson? Who did you vote for?”
“Actually, I wrote God’s name on my ballot,” I told her, wondering how she’d respond.
“You voted for God?” Bela exclaimed, eyes widening. “Of course! He is in control of all this–He will set his person in office!”
We actually high-fived each other, right in the middle of English class in my granddaughter’s school cafeteria.
How ironic that my Muslim Somali friend understood my vote more than some of my Christian buddies. I’ve been shamed, badgered and even bullied because I “wasted” my vote on Jesus.
But no matter who our president is at the end of this day, my hope will not be shaken.