A buffet served at CNN’s townhall.

Today, I’m not a democrat, republican or independent. Just a momma who has crashed both political parties to see what’s being served daily in the buffet line. Food that is highly engineered, packaged and marketed for our consumption with the price of a vote versus food that has been organically grown to bear fruit in those who are starving spiritually, mentally and literally – physically – due to poor nutrient in our diet with the price of one’s hope.   My hope.

As I watched Anderson Cooper’s CNN town hall meeting in South Carolina – I listened to the play wheel of where each candidate stood on issues on small businesses, healthcare, and experience. They rattled off their responses in record time – like a child who memorized their conjunctions or if you’re a rock star – tackling prepositions in 30 seconds (Rubio, you could so do this!)

But then the wheel stopped – there was a pause in play.  Anderson Cooper began to ask personal questions.

Governor Kasich was asked when he was 35 years old…how the tragedy of losing his parents (killed by a drunk driver) shaped his life.  Governor Kasich responded:

“I went into a black hole with just a little pin prick of light, Anderson. And others who are here tonight have had that experience. But I had people come to me. I don’t care – you know, you don’t have to agree with me or like it or whatever, but it’s really where I found the Lord. And I’ve spent 29 years of my life working on that, and I’m here to tell people that – and look, life is – it’s so rocky, it’s so fragile. We have to build our homes – our lives, our homes on solid granite, not on sand.”

Governor Kaich was serving me something familiar – a raw, authentic moment of choosing hope vs. despair.  A pin hole view to see that faith is his granite foundation that allows him to serve other through this perspective.

Governor Bush was next. I now knew Anderson’s pattern and I found myself eager to hear the round of personal questions. But I didn’t have to wait. A SC resident asked a question to Gov. Bush about what was the single driving force in his life.  Gov. Bush’s response:

“My dad was running for president, and I was working and trying to help him. And I just was overwhelmed, and it forced me to pause and to reflect about the important things of life. And I started reading the Bible and I – and I accepted Jesus as my savior at that time. And that was an important element of my life. The second part of my faith journey that was important was when – after the 1994 election and I lost, I decided I wanted to join the faith of my wife. We had gone to – we go to mass, we were going to mass, except I wasn’t a Catholic. That’s kind of cheating in case you were thinking.

So I went to the RCA class. About halfway through – and it was a wonderful experience. I was with real people – this was after an election defeat which was not fun – I learned a lot from the defeat. It made me a much better person. But I – my Catholic journey started then. And on Easter Sabbath of 1997, I became a Catholic, and it informs a lot of how I think about life. I believe that life is a gift from God, that it’s divinely inspired and that we’re all here for a purpose in life. And if you believe like that, then a lot of the policy and a lot of the thinking that goes with that in the public arena falls quite naturally. It means that you protect life from beginning to end. It means that you respect people that may have disabilities as important as anybody else. If means that you respect everybody and you treat them with dignity and respect. My faith is an important part of my life. And as – and in public life, I don’t think you put your faith in a lockbox, you know, and say, OK, I’ll do this kind of at home and I’ll do it when I go to the church but I can’t do it openly in the public square.”

Governor Bush, your comments about faith is as refreshing as a glass of sweet tea.  I drank it in.  A sunday-kinda love that’s displayed every day of the week.  Please remember your own Divine worth.  Don’t be defined by the media’s price tag on a state’s vote.  

Next came Donald Trump.  After serving a lot of the “terrific”, “huge” and “very good” comments.  Anderson Cooper asked him about the Supreme Court justice seat that’s available and if he recommended his sister, Maryanne Trump Barry?  Donal Trump’s response:  

“So, my sister is a brilliant woman who was always a fabulous student, very, very smart. She was appointed by Ronald Reagan. He said appointed by Bill Clinton. She was elevated to the Court of Appeals, a very high position, right under the Supreme Court, as you know.

She was elevated to the Court of Appeals by Clinton; appointed by Reagan, elevated – and the reason she was elevated, she was an outstanding intellect and an outstanding judge. I don’t even know what her views are on abortion. I really don’t. She is certainly not a radical anything, because that’s not her thing. But this is the kind of thing he said “radical this, this, this on abortion.”

She’s not radical. She may have made a decision one way or the other. I never asked her. I wouldn’t ask her. She wouldn’t want to tell me. I know I got a very big call from a very great reporter actually at the New York Times. And they wanted to do a major piece on my sister. And they called me. Could I possibly get her to do the piece? I called her. She said, “No, no, I don’t do that; I don’t want a piece; I don’t want anything to do with it; I don’t want any…”

Donald Trump knows how to make dough (couldn’t resist).  I was unaware that his sister, Maryanne Trump Barry, has been gifted the ingredients of justice, prudence, discernment and humility.  I haven’t seen these riches in Trump’s dough- but I do hope they rise.

We’re not only in an election year  – we’re in the start of the Lent season.  An election year can bring you to the desert to be lured, tempted and fearful of illusions.  God is not in any of the noise.  Remember, he is in the whisper that good will prevail in one nation under Him.