By Naomi Rossow
With a presidential election on the horizon, our family was receiving at least three or more pieces of “vote for me” mail each day. My sister and I would organize the mail and whenever we saw a “vote for me” we would throw it in the air and yell “vote for me!” making the once annoying mail a fun bonding moment between my sister and me.
When election day finally came, my father and I got in the car at 7:30 AM and drove the two minutes to our polling place. I wore pearls in honor of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and proudly stuck my “I voted” sticker to my sweater. I posted many political things on Snapchat and Instagram in both the week before and after election day … to the surprise of my family and myself.
I have never been political. I didn’t retain the information I learned in history class past the day of the test. On the night of Tuesday, November 3, I asked my very political boyfriend and knowledgeable sister “What does the senate do?” They both groaned.
My sister bailed on me, but my boyfriend explained to me what was going on. I now understand the importance of the number 270 and what the electoral college is and, sure enough, what the Senate does. So, for the days following, I turned on the TV to watch the election results unfold. As we watched Steve Kornacki analyze the results of each state and do amazing statistical math in his head, my family and I developed a strange attachment, and we all decided Steve was the real hero of this election.
Finally, on November 7, 2020 Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were pronounced president-elect and vice president-elect.
I can’t explain with words how I felt that day. I was relieved the election had at least a projected winner. Part of me was hopeful because who the winner was; and part of me was fearful because of who the winner was. But the most overwhelming emotion was grief: November 8 was the four-year anniversary of my friend’s death at the age 15.
On November 8, 2016, Donald Trump was elected president. On November 7, 2020, he was voted out of office. On November 8, 2016, I lost a friend to the hands of death. On November 7, 2020, I am one day away from the fourth year without him.
While Ben was not a close friend of mine, while we didn’t talk every day, while I hadn’t seen him in a few months, while we probably wouldn’t be prominently in each other’s lives today, I grieve the loss of his life every year. At 15, I experienced the unexpected death and terrible heartbreak of that lost life. Ben was so young; and he was exactly my age.
I don’t know what Ben would think if he were here still. I don’t know what college he would be attending, if any. I don’t know if he would have a significant other. I don’t know if I would have his phone number. I don’t know if he would support Trump or Biden or neither. I don’t know what the first week of November would look like if I wasn’t remembering him.
But I do know that in heaven, Ben is excitedly waiting for Jesus to come again, just like I am. I know I will see him again one day in the New Creation when Jesus makes this Earth whole again. And I can’t wait for that day. With the extra stress surrounding the first week of November this year, I prayed “Maranatha, Come Quickly, Lord” more times than I can count.
Pray with me:
Hey there, God. It has been quite a week.
Today, I pray for our President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris and their families as they prepare to lead our country for the next four years. I pray for President Trump and his family as they prepare to leave the White House. I pray for the friends and family of Ben Pierce as we mourn his loss. I ask you send your Holy Spirit into our hearts, comfort us, and use us to your good and holy will.
I look forward with joyful anticipation to the New Creation when we will walk in unity with you again. Amen.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. – Hebrews 13:8 NIV