I am a Guyanese. I voted in the last election. I watch and wait and wait for the results of that election. There is a result. It is contained in the ballot boxes. The numbers are there. This issue that is being raised now, about which of the votes in the boxes are valid and which are not, well, I can’t see how it could possibly be up to one man to decide that, without at least giving a hearing to those who he attempts to disenfranchise. My understanding is that it is the process of an election petition that determines the issue of whether or not a vote already in a ballot box is valid or not. A process where evidence is led, and tested and challenged, a process where submissions are made, and where a trained judge makes the decision on whether or not even one vote should not be counted. But here we have a situation where one man, without following any kind of due process, is saying more than one hundred thousand votes should not be counted because he alone does not consider them “valid”. This one man who months ago was ready to declare results that were found to be fraudulent, and who now is putting forward a new set of numbers based on his own secret assessment. That defies all logic and common sense to me.
But that’s just my opinion. Many people do not share my view. Two court of appeal judges do not share my view. Politics can be such a nasty business. But, does it have to be? Humans all have inherent biases, I don’t deny that I too have them. That is why I make allowances for those who do not share by view. I listen to them, try to follow their reasoning, and then see if my view should not be changed given what others are saying and the evidence they are showing me. But when it comes to this particular issue, when I try to listen to people with different views from mine, I hear mostly hateful banter and generalized slogans, like “fraud is fraud.” That is not reasoning and that is not logical argument. That is people trying to make a loud enough noise to drown out anything that is not in conformity with what they want you to believe, and what they themselves might be trying to believe. I also hear arguments from them that ignore the most damning evidence against their view, and just them sticking to what they are interpreting the law to mean. I wonder though, what is the evidence they need to change their mind. Does it even exist? Would it even matter? Or is it that they want a win, no matter what the cost? If I were in their shoes, would I be any different?
But all that aside, apart from being a Guyanese, I am someone who lives in hope of there being a God out there. I see a lot of people praying on social media for all kinds of things that clearly show what they want the outcome of this election to be, that is, who they want to win. There is nothing wrong with praying for what you want, it is written that you should let the desires of your hearts be known to God. But every now and then, we need to analyze those desires, and if they are not good ones, should we not pray to want or desire what is good? I see people who consider themselves Christians praying for bad things to happen to others and for painful judgment to fall on those who they perceive to be wrong. But the God that I read about in the bible is all about love, forgiveness, truth, justice, patience, compassion, kindness, peace and goodness. He gets angry and upset too, he punishes and teaches some hard lessons. But ultimately, he gets to decide who will be punished and what their punishment should be. The thing he tells us to do here in this life however, is to love each other.
I see people who interpret the last court of appeal decision as something that God wanted the court to decide. I do not know how God works exactly, but I suspect that just because God allowed something to happen, that does not mean that he wasn’t hoping we do better. People make decisions every day that are not in conformity with what God teaches us, that cannot mean that God wanted us to do them, does it? I personally do not agree with the Court of Appeal decision, but I bear no ill will toward the judges who made the decision. If their decision was sound, and based on the actual law, and made free from biasness, then great, if not, well, then it’s God job to decide what he will do with them.
So bearing in mind my views on the situation which I very well know may be wrong, this is my prayer.
Father of us all, please help us. I pray that you place in all of our hearts a desire to love you, and love each other; a desire to learn the truth, speak the truth, and to open our minds to the possibility that what we accept currently as the truth might not be the truth. I pray that you remove the biases that we have in our minds and hearts, and I pray that when it comes to the people who do not share our views currently, that we can be patient with them, that we can listen to them, and if they say things that we find upsetting, that we forgive them. Father, I pray for the politicians in this country. Those who are currently under the grip of evil forces, and who may be controlled by love of power, I pray that you soften their hearts to the truth; that you fill them with a desire to truly serve this country; that you open their eyes to reason and that you bless them with humility and wisdom.
I pray that you free them from negative influences that might surround them, and that you free them to think for themselves. I pray that you bless them with the courage to do what is just and right, even if it is hard for them; that you bless them with the courage to admit when they are in the wrong and to ask the people for forgiveness when they slip up. I pray that the ones who are currently misleading their supporters, that they, quite simply, stop it.
I pray for the members of the media, that you bless them with a desire only to publish what is true; that they can do so without fear of punishment from those who currently have power, or those who may one day have power. I pray that you instill them with not only the desire to publish only the truth, but also the strength to do so. The media is a powerful source of influence Father, and I ask that it is a tool that is used responsibly by all who have access and control over it.
I pray that you search us all, and anything that we desire that is not pleasing to you, that you remove it. I pray that you protect us though these trying times and bless us with your peace that surpasses all understanding. I am thankful for your past lessons, lessons from which I have learnt, that though bad things might happen, things that I do not want to happen, with you in charge, you can somehow turn those bad things into good. I am reminded of the worst thing in the bible, where persons used lies to have your son killed. But you used that event, bad as it was, to teach the rest of the world lessons until this day, and to save many souls. You alone know the outcome of this situation that we as a country are currently enduring, and whatever the outcome is Father, please let it be just, fair and based on truth. Please let us all be able to accept it with peace. I know full well that I may not get what I am asking you for, but many times, when you did not give me what I prayed for, you sent instead a lesson or situation that ultimately led to my growth and that drew me closer to you. Whatever the outcome, let us all benefit somehow.
So that is my prayer, as a Guyanese who watches and prays, and then prays some more. God bless us all.
A Praying Guyanese
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