On Being Kind and Praying Backwards

I have a sign in the front of my classroom that I wish I could hang at the top of my Facebook page. It says “Be Kind.” It says it and I mean it. You don’t get to say unkind things in my classroom, even if it is funny, even if it is true, even if that other kid deserved it. If it is not kind it has no place in my room, not when I am responsible for the environment that is set.
I wouldn’t characterize this political season with the words “kind and gentle.” I have smart and well-informed friends, which leads to a Facebook feed full of smart (alecky) posts on either side of the fence. I grew up in and still attend an evangelical church so I get the conservative side, and I had college friends mainly from the liberal speech circuit, so I get the liberal side too.

Here is the deal: I respect both sides of the fence. I know most people don’t come to the decisions on who to vote for lightly, so I don’t think it is okay to call people idiots for not agreeing with you. In fact, I think it is mean, and rude, and a little unwelcoming. And I REALLY don’t think it is okay to question someone’s faith-based on what party they affiliate with.

There are days that I wish I could send the Peanut to the houses of multiple friends where she could stomp her foot and crease her eyebrows in her too grown way and shout (in her seriously loud voice….I wonder where she got that from..ahem) Hey! HEY! WE NO TALK LIKE THAT! Because some of y’all need a good old-fashioned scolding. And I probably do too.

I was given a glimpse of my heart today when I hear that the Boston Globe and Donald Trump have something to release about Romney and Obama respectively and I got excited at the thought that maybe it was news of an affair for the candidate that I hope loses. How gross is that? I got excited at the prospect of a family being publicly humiliated, at the grief of a marriage being on display. These men are people with wives and kids and in Romney’s case grandkids that love him. These are fellow children of God and in both cases, men who profess to be my brothers in Christ. And whether or not I like them, or agree with them, or vote for the, I do need to be rooting for their marriages and families.

My heart needs changed. I repent of this attitude. I want to love these men and their families. I want to identify with just how hard it must be to be the wife of a man running for president. I want the fruit of the spirit to be evident even if I am talking about someone who I don’t agree with.

I am joining the “Praying Backwards” movement and I want you to join me. I am voting for Barack Obama. So, every day from now through November 6th I will be praying for Mitt Romney. I am not proud of the things I have thought about him. I affirm that he is a person that Jesus died for. I recognize that God loves him desperately. I want to love him too.

I want to pray for one person specifically by name that is voting for Mitt Romney. (Family doesn’t count because I pray for y’all anyway. But thanks for reading my blog!) I think that we as Jesus lovers, have done a lot of damage to the body of Christ in the spirit of democracy. I want to mean it the next time I sing “And they’ll know we are Christians by our love by our love, and they’ll know we are Christians by our love.”

I believe deeply, that in the days to come the unity of the body of Christ will be a sign post to the world that our Savior is a radical being, that His love transcends politics, theological differences, even opinions on gender. (I am working on it, I promise.) I think praying for each other is the best way to knit this body together.

Would you join me? I know not everyone is willing to post to the entirety of the internet which way they will cast their ballots (but based on your Facebook feeds, a significant amount of you don’t mind), so would you leave a comment, email (accidentaldevotional at gmail dot com or Facebook me, hit me up on twitter (accidentaldevo) in a public or private message. We are going to run this like your third grade pen pal club. I will give you the name of someone who is voting for the opposite candidate and give them your name. Then, every day you will pray for them as well as the candidate they are voting for.

I will be praying through this, which I swiped off of Ragamuffin Soul

1. Pray that our leaders would grown in Faith. In their relationships with Jesus Christ.
2. Pray for their marriages.
3. Pray for their children.
4. Pray for those around them.
5. Pray for their emotional and physical health.

I am excited to see the Lord work in my own heart as I pray for someone elses. I hope you join me we’ve got some peace making to do.

In no way is it okay to stump for your candidate in the comments. I respect that you have the right to do that, but not here. Not under this post. If you have to, harass me personally on Facebook.

8 thoughts on “On Being Kind and Praying Backwards

  1. hey it’s one of your relatives who is voting for Romney, your sister Emily, please give me a pen pal name and I will commit to praying for that person and President Obama. This is an awesome idea.

  2. I confess that I am glad the stock market went down today – I guess that shows who I’m voting for. I will pray for the President.

  3. Love the idea of praying backwards– truly stretches our hearts and minds to love our “enemies.” thanks for the perspective.

  4. Pingback: My Year in Review: Grace in Abundance | Accidental Devotional

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