If 13 Year Olds Could Vote: The Power of a Photo

In case you didn’t hear, there was a presidential election last week.
Of course you knew that. If you didn’t, it means that for the several weeks (if not months) leading up to the election, you hadn’t checked your mail or email, turned on your television, signed on to Facebook, answered your landline telephone, opened a webpage, read a newspaper, scanned the headlines while in line at the grocery store, or even left your house.

I went to the polls before work last Tuesday morning, and by the time I arrived at LCS, school had already started for the day.  When I get to my office, I have a typical morning routine. First, I check my email, and second, I sign on to Facebook.

As the communications specialist, maintaining the Lakeland Christian social media is one of my favorite responsibilities.  I’m always looking for things going on around school to share with our audience of 1,700 Facebook fans.  Often, it’s a photo sent to me by a teacher.

On election morning, Keith Overholt (middle school principal) sent me a photo of approximately 60 middle school students praying around the flagpole before school.  The prayer time was initiated, organized and led by middle school students. They weren’t praying for a specific candidate to win, but that God’s will would be accomplished and that they would have a good attitude no matter who won. They thanked God for being sovereign and totally in control.

I posted the photo with that description and moved on to other tasks, never expecting the impact the photo would have until my inbox started filling up with Facebook notifications.  It was unprecedented for our Facebook page.  Within just two hours of posting the photo, it had 332 likes, 31 shares, 22 comments and 1,600 views.  By 5 PM when I left my office, it was up to 1,432 likes, 91 shares, 71 comments and had been viewed by 9,500 people.

While other people were watching the Presidential election outcome and the tallying of the popular and electoral votes, I was watching the impact that 60 middle schoolers were having – not just on our 1,700 Facebook page fans but around the entire United States—and even in other parts of the world—as this photo was shared over and over and over again.

Here we are, one week later, and that one photo was liked by 2,840 people. It was shared by 173 people. There were 139 comments (and with the exception of maybe one or two, they were all positive comments). And 22,061 people saw it.

Did you catch that?

More than 22,000 people saw a group of middle school students from Lakeland Christian School in Lakeland, Florida, praying for the election. And it was their idea, not a teacher’s.

1 Timothy 4:12 says, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”

These 60 middle schoolers couldn’t vote.  Many probably didn’t know or understand a lot of issues on the ballot.  But they observed the charged discussions and watched the negative campaign advertisements.  They knew that God was sovereign and that the election outcome wouldn’t surprise Him at all. They knew that our President – whoever that would be when the night ended – needed prayer.  So they showed up at school early on a Tuesday morning, joined hands and took turns praying for our country.

And they set a great example.

Side note: I encourage you to log on to our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/LCSVikings, view the photo and read some of the comments. And of course, become a fan and stay connected to all of the activities going on around the school.