My Election Night Doppelganger
March 6, 2013

Ephesians 1:18

"With the eyes of the heart enlightened…"

Lillian Daniel

Last year, on election night, like most people I was watching the returns on television at home. But apparently there was someone at the president's glamorous election night party who looked just like me, because that night I got emails from friends around the country saying they saw me on television with the president. Given that the election night festivities were in Chicago, they assumed I had somehow gotten myself invited. But that wasn't me. I was on my couch in my sweatpants with a couple of dogs on my lap.

The next day when I came into church, even my coworkers and church members thought they had seen me at the party. Once I explained that it wasn't me after all, people seemed relieved. You see, apparently my doppelganger on television looked bored the whole time. She was rolling her eyes, staring off into space and generally not acting the way you would want to act if you were being watched by millions of people on television at a history-making moment.

But what struck me was how often we are involved in cases of mistaken identity that we never hear about. We give people credit for things they had nothing to do with. (As if I would be invited to the president's party!) And we blame people for things they had nothing to do with. (Hey, that wasn't me looking bored at an historic event!) At least in this case, people asked me and checked their assumptions.

But then I had to look at my own behavior. How often do I not ask? How often do I just trust that I know what I saw? How often do I assume I don't need to check?

Prayer

Gracious God, allow me to see with the eyes of the heart enlightened. And allow me the humility to check in with others about how good my eyesight actually is. Amen.

About the Author
Lillian Daniel is the senior minister of First Congregational Church, Glen Ellyn, Illinois. Her newest book, When "Spiritual But Not Religious" is Not Enough, has just been released.
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