Church provides a fertile setting for observing human behavior. I don’t intend for that to indicate some judgmental revelation is about to be offered. No. I simply want to make an observation; one that caught me off guard at the time.
Any member of a predominantly African-American church, especially one of significant size, knows that during political campaign season, candidates for office frequent Sunday morning services. (Let me confess my ignorance here. This may also be true for other churches, too; however, I know little of those environments.) The church I attend, years ago, allowed candidates to speak, but now we only acknowledge their presence among the worshippers from the pulpit. That adjustment hasn’t seemed to dampened the questionable reason for seeing candidates in our midst when the campaigning has peaked. I honestly feel that all are welcome whenever our doors are opened, but I still can’t help but ask myself, “Who’s that well-dressed person and why are they here?” Although all are welcome, I also wonder why is that person, of a certain hue, with us this morning. Before services are over, their presence is made clear.
I also wonder if some of these vote chasing visitors check off their visit on a list of activities that must be completed, during the campaign season. If so, is there any earnest intention of doing anything further should victory on election day be eventual?
Recently, I witnessed something I had never seen before. There was a woman (of another hue) in our congregation, whom I thought I had seen before; however, I wasn’t sure. After the sermon had been delivered, and all felt they had been served up an elevating word from God, our pastor acknowledged the visitor’s presence. Her reason for being there was surprising. She had run a political race against one of our members, and she hadn’t been victorious. She was actually present to offer thanks for us allowing her to visit during the campaign, and for any support she might have received from among our congregation at the polls. Now, that’s a shocker, isn’t it? That kind of made me wonder if she would have been a mold-breaker had she won the election. Just when you think you’ve got them (of all hues) all figured out, one throws you an easily handled soft ball. If there are stranger things to have ever happened with political candidates, I’m pressed to remember any.
I must admit, I went home from church with a reinforcement of my belief, which has waned significantly recently, in the integrity of political candidates. That’s a good thing to experience from time to time, don’t you think so?
I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.