Much is being said this month about voting and the importance of making our voices heard. As a youngster, I was taught that it was our civic duty to elect people to represent us.

This is whether it is on a local, state or national level. I don’t think I have missed state or national elections over the years. I do try to be intentional and aware of the issues that have been brought before us.

During these last days before the national election, it’s good to remember that we are all human beings who are loved by God. Our Creator placed us on this earth to build relationships and help one another. We matter. Our hopes and dreams matter. It is good to be mindful that we will always be beloved of Jesus Christ who taught us the way to love each other.

I have seen contentious races before. There are difficult times and easier ones. We manage through them and we are still building a nation together.

Right now, many of us are checking the weather for a dip in the temperatures that will bring on the chill of winter — ice and snow. As much as we don’t want to face the slippery falls, the car accidents, the delayed flights, we do know that there will be spring.

And so it is with the life cycle of our country — there may be times of disappointment, but we can choose to put away those worries and the uncertainties.

We can choose to be the beloved ones of Christ together. We can choose to embrace one another on Nov. 4 because we do love our country.

With our vote, we are saying that we are willing to be true to ourselves and yet allow for all voices to be heard. We can be thoughtful and understand that there are many sides to important issues and that’s why we go to the polls. We are saying that we choose to peacefully live together under one nation.

One person, one vote makes it clear that we all have a chance to be heard. We each have the opportunity to be authentic and true to ourselves and mark our ballots.

There is hope in all of this. Amid this pandemic, we find ourselves facing many don’ts: Don’t stand too close, don’t forget your mask in public, don’t forget to wash your hands.

But on Nov. 3 we are free to do something that many can’t do. We can vote and encourage others to do the same. With our example, we can show our youngsters how to be wise and discerning citizens, teaching them to be true to their values, not just for themselves but for the good of others as well.

An authentic vote brings the satisfaction that we matter. We make a difference. We will continue to be beloved of Christ — who taught us the way to love each other, and so, love our country.

Margie Adams, MA, is the staff chaplain at PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center.

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Perspectives is a regular column sponsored and written by members of the Ketchikan Ministerial Association.