I live in Glasgow, the big smoke of Scotland. The place is always moving, frantic, dynamic, loud and emotional. The latter point is particularly the case! Because of this it’s easy for life to seem overwhelming. How can the problems of the city, which are a-plenty, be addressed? How can we make our place in the world a better place to live?
Over the past couple of years I’ve started to try and meet my local politicians. To be honest, when I started I didn’t have a clue about politics. It was pretty daunting. Or at least, I was daunted because I felt out of my depth, even in sending my email to meet my MSP.
What I’ve realised though, after three or four coffees, is that my trepidation was only due to my lack of experience in relating to the world of politics. I’m sure there are exceptions, but my MSPs/MPs are pretty ordinary human beings and have been really easy to meet.
But they do take a battering. By the papers, on Twitter, by their opposition parties, by us… but why?
Well let’s be honest, sometimes, oftentimes, power does corrupt our MSP/MPs. And that is truly sad. But I often lump them all together as if they are all ‘shysters’ just because some have betrayed our trust (I’ve duck ponds in mind here!). But that’s not fair at all. I’d not want to be guilty by association just because someone else messed up!
I’m thinking maybe I should go for it and trust my MSP or my MP and see what happens? What have I to lose? Some of us have become so cynical of this area of Scottish life we don’t expect them to succeed, or even do relatively well.
But what if we were to cheer them on? What if we were to get to know s/he? Aren’t I as a follower of Jesus to be loving my neighbour and all that?
In fact, the last time I met my MP a couple of months ago she’d bought us wee donuts from next door’s new business over our cup of tea. I only had 20 minutes with her, but at the end of the issue, I asked if I could pray for her. She burst out crying…
She wasn’t expecting warmth. She wasn’t expecting help. Au contraire! She was on the defensive, ready to protect herself from the next scathing criticism. She was astounded. Even the thought of prayer for her was worth something. She was moved in a way I could have never even manufactured.
So go on, why don’t you give a relationship with your politician a try? You may disagree with their politics, but who knows what’ll emerge among the hustle bustle when you love thy politician?