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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The End of a Campaign

Last night I spent the last few hours at Congressman Todd Akin's election night party. Although the outcome of last night's election was not what any of us in that room would have hoped (except, of course, for a few of the media representatives lined up with their cameras), there is nowhere else that I would have chosen to end this campaign season.

As I have mentioned before, I met Congressman Akin about 20 years ago. I was 12, and he was serving in the Missouri State legislature. But I was completely unaware of that - to me, he was simply Mr. Akin, the father of a few children I knew from Sunday School. For years, that was all I knew of him. By the time I graduated high school, I was aware of his career in government. But when I saw him in the hall at church, talking to my parents or holding the hand of one of his young children, he was still just a regular guy to me. A Christian man who I knew despite his governmental obligations would be standing with the rest of us every pro-life Sunday. A man who obviously placed his faith and his family first in everything he did.

So in 2011, when he announced that he was running against Democrat Claire McCaskill, I knew that I would have to be involved. From the day the campaign kicked off, I have attended events with my children in support of Todd Akin.

This year, after the now infamous Jaco interview, someone referenced a quote made by former Senator Jim Talent about Congressman Akin: "I don't know what it is, but God protects that man."

Some applied that statement to his career, inferring that God's protection was what led to victory in a tough primary or strength to get through a long election season. But I got the feeling it was something much deeper than that.

Last night, Congressman Todd Akin concede a long and hard fought race to Senator Claire McCaskill. He began as he begins everything, by thanking God.
“..it’s particularly appropriate to thank God, who makes no mistakes and who is much wiser than we are, and so I say to God alone be the glory and honor regardless of how He decides to organize history.”
And he went on to thank his family, supporters, and friends. His speech outlined his view of government and his view of the governed, and I was reminded again of Senator Talent's comment, "God protects that man." It occurred to me that my original assessment had been right. God's protection of Congressman Akin has exactly nothing to do with winning elections or strength through long campaigns. God protected what was important: instead of protecting Todd Akin so that he could get to Washington DC, he protected Todd Akin from the effects of working in Washington DC. The words he spoke last night were the words of a man who has spent 12 long years in Congress and has, only through God's grace and Divine protection, returned to his family the same man he was the day I met him 20 years ago.


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