What a Beautiful Witness

Vox Efx (Creative Commons)

This morning a friend sent me a link to an item in today’s Post about an experience at the polls Tuesday.  Many moons ago I volunteered at a nearby polling place (in Burke, Va) and I look forward to doing so again someday. Here’s the letter:

Politeness carries the day at the polls

As my wife and I stood in an hour-long line to vote Tuesday, we took the occasion to observe our neighbors as they arrived and expressed varying degrees of surprise and dismay at the long line at Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke. It was longer than we were accustomed to, but waiting was a small price to pay to exercise our right to vote.

We did not see anyone turn around and leave. In fact, I think we all felt a bit of common pride in waiting our turn to vote.

After about 45 minutes, when we were getting close to the head of the line, I noticed an elderly couple who had just arrived walking back to the end of the line. They seemed to be expressing concern about the woman’s ability to stand for a long period. Just as I noticed them, so did a young woman standing about five spots in front of us. I watched as she stopped the couple and told them to take her spot in line. She then walked to the end of the line. I was impressed and moved.

After becoming aware of what had happened, all of the folks around us in line were glad, as we were, to see that the volunteers working the polls found this wonderful young woman and put her back in her original spot in line. There was no politics, just people doing the right thing. So I want to say thank you to that woman for reminding us that we’re all in this together. And thank you to all the folks who work the polls on Election Day.

Gordon Wallace, Burke
(Washington Post, November 7, 2012)

What a beautiful witness that young woman was who gave up her place in line; and how wonderful her rightful place was restored again so quickly! I can tell you that I experienced the same politeness at the location where I vote each year – Keene Mill Elementary in West Springfield, Virginia. In fact, as a person who is mostly an extrovert, I have to say that, in addition to feeling grateful for the freedom and right to vote, I also look forward to – and count on  – running into neighbors I haven’t seen for awhile. I find it interesting who God arranges for me to run into  – this year it was the mother of several of my old youth-group kids from my youth ministry days at St. Bernadette’s in Springfield. We had a nice time catching up on what’s been going on in our lives.

I hope your voting experience was the same – I know some of you waited several hours in line for the opportunity to cast your ballot for what you believe in. What a great country we live in. Thank you, founding members of our country. And thank you, Mr. Gordon Wallace, for taking the time to share your uplifting story.

Peace friends,


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