By Elizabeth Prata
Some random thoughts…
Do you ever pray and pray and then the thing you prayed for…the opposite happened? And then you feel like you didn’t pray enough? Or with enough fervency? When what you were praying for fell through and you think, it’s your fault? “If I prayed more…” “If I prayed more strongly…” “If I prayed better…”
I know it’s not up to me. God is sovereign. The verse says the prayers of a righteous man avail much. (James 5:16). It doesn’t say the prayers of a righteous man avail all. Still, it’s hard not to wonder, “Could I have done more?”
I was a journalist in the early 2000’s. I covered local politics and government. It really IS like watching sausage being made…sometimes rotten sausage. Messy and unappetizing. The local powers that be at the time had a stranglehold on the town. Nepotism reigned, town hall department heads were filled with relatives and friends. They felt like they owned the town. They felt entitled to do what they wanted. The newspaper at the time had a monopoly and created the narrative the officials desired, which reflected the elites’ views. The townspeople had to accept it because they didn’t have an alternative. But they were often angry and upset.
I came along and established a free and fair objective newspaper. I reported the truth, without fear or favor. In one incident, I was covering a local Town Council race and discovered that some of the valid write-in votes had been thrown out. Amazingly, I got the election clerk at the time on the record saying she and the poll workers threw them out “because they didn’t like the names that were written in”.
This was around 2003 or so. Seventeen years ago…a different time. I was incensed. When it came out in the paper the people were incensed. The write-ins would not have made any difference to the outcome of the race. But it made a huge difference to the person that took their precious vote, considered who to write in, and placed their invaluable emblem of free and fair election into the ballot box. That it was thrown out by elites with a false sense of entitlement was provoking in the extreme.
The Town Manager was no fan of mine but he did have a sense of right and wrong. Throwing out votes was wrong. He contacted the Secretary of State to ask what to do. The ballots had already been sealed and sent to the capitol. I don’t remember what happened after that, except that the Election Clerk almost lost her job, was reprimanded, and had to attend trainings for a while afterward.
And less than half a generation later, we have alleged wholesale election fraud in the 2020 Presidential Election. Ballots thrown out, found in ditches, others never mailed. And the mainstream press, the people I used to call my colleagues, failing to cover it. Social media suppressing it. I’m more than disappointed, and also more than relieved I don’t have to call them my colleagues any more.
It made me think of how low we’ve sunk- from an embedded town manager caring enough about someone’s local write-in vote to act immediately, to workers, politicos, and citizens allegedly participating in national fraud at the highest level…and in such a short time.
To me, it’s a grief, but it’s also a way to praise and admire my God. His ways are not our ways. His creativity in bringing about His will & plan is breathtakingly awe-inspiring. Though I do not like the progression of what I see, I much more revere what I don’t see, that is, His working in the world as Supreme God. God is working. We may not always like the sausage we’re served, but it is God who made it, and thus, worthy of consumption.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. (Isaiah 55:8)
Jesus said we do not need to worry. Matthew 6:25: “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?“
So let us watch and marvel at His word, feel joy in His promises, even as we see others’ needs rise and they walk about in confusion and fear…because that represents a tremendous opportunity to share Jesus with them!