After a year of witnessing God’s love and grace and fighting and speaking out about the importance of life, last week I was at a posh dinner party in Washington DC. To say I was surrounded by people who did not share my views would be an understatement. It would have been impolitic to speak out in that context, as I was in the odd role of being both a hostess to my table, and a guest at the party itself.
People had spoken of the historic nature of the day, which I readily agreed was true. People had talked with great enthusiasm for the man, which I also agreed was fact. I had fondly remembered the President’s speech in 2004 when we were first introduced to the then junior senator from Illinois.. It rang in my ears then, and still I could recall listening, in rapt attention and how beautiful his words were. But I didn’t vote for this person. I didn’t vote for him for one specific reason.
Moreover, I supported his opponent and his opponent’s running mate with great vigor, hanging signs in my yard, sporting a cap and even sending money. I wrote about abortion. I wrote about the moral evil of cowardice. Our personal spiritual theme in my family last year was “Be Not afraid.” And yet, when push came to shove in a context in which it would be imprudent to be too vocal, I voted present. I said when asked how I voted, that I was independent. It wasn’t quite a lie, but it certainly wasn’t the whole truth.
Now I know that at dinner parties, being asked direct questions by strangers can be a delicate and dicey manner but I also know, there was nothing wrong with having said, “I voted for McCain because I’m pro-life.” It would have been a strong simple truth. It probably would have also killed all subsequent conversation directed my way. But it also might have heartened someone else at the table without my realizing it. So I sit at the fire trying to warm myself, aware that I failed in a moment of crisis.
Why am I writing this here? Because I have urged anyone who reads my work to speak and I want it known that I know, speaking out is hard. Pray for me to have some of that fraction of courage given out in dollops by the Holy Spirit, that the next time I’m given the opportunity to be a witness, God keeps me from failing Him. And I will pray for all of you. We all need the Holy Spirit taking over our lives. It’s the only way we won’t forget ourselves in a moment of fear or comfort and not say what should be said, truth.
Thanks for listening.
Copyright 2009 Sherry Antonetti