If your opinion of politicians is based on what you see/hear in the media and on those 15 second sound bytes that come out of Question Period or media scrums, I can understand completely why you might wonder if politicians have souls. There's not much less complimentary than a clip of a red-faced politician pointing at his/her opponent making outrageous accusations.
If your opinion of politicians is based on what you hear politicians saying about other politicians, that too might lead you to conclude that politicians have no souls. When it comes to politics the goal is always to make the other team appear to be heartless and uncaring.
If your opinion of politicians is based on what you hear other people saying about politicians, you might also conclude that politicians have no souls. They are after all, the people who raise our taxes, close our schools and appear to fail at addressing our many concerns.
After working with politicians personally for the past 6 years, I see something very different...
I see people who have given up their right to personal privacy and personal opinion for the sake of giving themselves to a cause that they believe in.
I see people who make tremendous personal and family sacrifices for the sake of serving others. Most backbenchers work 50 hours/wk. Most Cabinet Ministers work somewhere around 70 hours/wk. They leave for work early and get home late and their world revolves entirely around serving other people.
I see people who try to manage unrealistic expectations. No one likes a wait list, no one likes to see a school closed. At the same time, our expectations are generally way over the top. We willingly understand that in our lives there are times when we have to wait, sometimes years in order to get the things we really want or need. When it comes to services that government provides, we want it now, we want it fast and we want it for free. Politicians are saddled with the same financial realities that you and I are wrestle with. Wants and needs are subject to our ability to pay for them.
I've sat with politicians who were hurting because of what is being said about them. I've sat with politicians who have wept because of what they see in the media. I've been with members at the bedside of their loved ones and have prayed with them for family needs, personal needs and professional concerns. There's no doubt in my mind that the people who make themselves available to serve us politically are real people, with real feelings and a genuine desire to serve the people they represent.
The Bible tells us that we should pray for those who govern over us so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives. (1 Tim 2:1) The context of this verse is profound. Paul is writing this letter to Christians who are living under Nero's rule. This was in a day when were Christians were openly persecuted for their faith. Nero would dip Christians in tar and have them mounted on poles to be burned alive and at the same time light the streets of Rome. You might not like Christy Clark or Adrian Dix or Stephen Harper, but none of those people are burning you or your children to light the city streets at night.
Praying for our leaders makes a huge difference in their lives. Since 2008, we have been championing a prayer movement for BC politicians that we call PrayBC. Each day of the week, we pray for one of the 85 MLAs that serve our province. The prayers are personalized and written from a non-partisan platform. Not only do members appreciate them, I often hear reports of how those prayers have appeared at 'just the right time' and how it was 'just what they needed'. One member said it this way: 'I can mark on a calendar the days the church prays for me. Everything in my life goes better!'
We'd love to have you pray along with us. The easiest way to learn more about PrayBC and to join our prayer network is to visit www.praybc.com