I remember 2000.
I remember the aftermath.
I remember so much of that year. My father was dying. I was I Finalist in the Nicholl Fellowships but did not win. Every hope and thrill was tinged with sorrow and loss.
And the non-results of our election, the questions, the controversies, at the time unresolved, cast a gloom and tension over it all. In almost every meeting I took that Nicholl week, whether at James Cameron’s Lightstorm or a small production company with no produced credits began with a guarded, “So, you’re from Texas…” left hanging there, until I defused it or they followed up with some variation of, “How about this election?”
My memories of that period of time are in some ways hazed over with pain and stress, and yet with some sparkling highs, including the wonderful new friends I met who won that year, who are friends still. It was a time of endings and beginnings.
Every day at every Episcopal Church in the land, this prayer was prayed. Every Sunday, on our knees. At St Matthew’s Episcopal Cathedral in Dallas we also prayed for George, for Al, because that’s the way it is in our prayers of the common prayer book. We pray for people by first name. A ninety-nine-year-old woman receiving a birthday blessing is “your child, oh Lord.” There is a combination of majesty and history and sweetness and closeness that I love more deeply than I can express.
It’s not surprising that I would be brought to this church by the words of its prayers, because words are the way to my soul.
And so for today, forgive me if you aren’t religious, or if you share another faith. I respect that, and what’s more, I hope your prayers in your faith are raised today, too, because I believe in prayer. And I hope your thoughts or vibes or anything else you believe in or feel are in force, as well, because this election belongs to all of us, no matter what we believe or don’t believe.
24. For an Election
Almighty God, to whom we must account for all our powers
and privileges: Guide the people of the United States
in the election of officials and representatives;
that, by faithful administration and wise laws, the rights of
all may be protected and our nation be enabled to fulfill your
purposes; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
PS from Pooks –And if it’s not too much trouble?
A clear decision without controversy, thank you very much,
in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, amen.
And the prayer I love the most, the one that warms my heart during times of great distress, the prayer for the evening, just because it never hurts, and this is going to be a long night.
Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or
weep this night, and give thine angels charge over those who
sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless
the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the
joyous; and all for thy love’s sake. Amen.