I come to this nearly abandoned space without apology. This election has been too big to remain a silent participant.
I have been sitting with my thoughts for two days. I have so many it’s hard to make sense of them. But I process with words. These are just a few.
There is so much grief.
For the nearly 9 years I’ve been present in this space, I have yet to overtly voice my political opinion. I seem to be able to wax on and on about design, dinners, and days in the sun. I’ve alluded to my political leanings with quotes and hints at how I volunteer my time. I can say the same for my religious affiliation. I believe this quote; but now is the time for words. Words matter; they have weight and meaning. In this space I’ve not wanted to offend nor seem intolerant, never wanting to be lumped into one group or category and labeled just a demographic box. But every day millions of my fellow citizens who are anything other than “white” wake up to such a reality — a demographic box. And they are terrified…. as am I.
In recent weeks I heard someone say “liberals take Trump literally but not seriously and conservatives take Trump seriously but not literally.” I’m still processing this pithy summary. But how are we NOT supposed to take him literally when he seemed to repeat the same horrible things? History will be the final judge; however, that is little comfort for those of us here and now.
I can only image just how perplexed people are wondering why so many of us are devastated by this outcome. I did not believe that Hillary Clinton was the “answer to all our prayers!” Far from it. She
was is however, someone who has clearly championed the rights of women and children in service of her community and country consistently for the last 30 years (among other things). I’m baffled why so many hate her… genuine HATE. I am happy to disagree and challenge her on policy differences and would have loved to see more genuine policy debate rather getting sucked into the character black hole that was click-bate heaven for this new era of immediate, lustful media. I just don’t understand how he gets a pass on seemingly EVERYTHING…. just because they don’t like her. And the gut punch is especially hard because he EMBODIES, nah – nearly parodies, a truly misogynistic, narcissistic, racist culture that surely cannot be representative of OUR AMERICA. (And in fact isn’t. He is representative of 25% of the eligible voters that actually voted for him.) He is the anti-gospel. (And “the gospel” is so much bigger than just this one issue!)
But I digress. I want to move forward. I don’t want to re-hash the awful 18 months we all just endured. I have had a few great moments of hope, perpetrated right here in my little neighborhood. Music is healing. Praying is healing. Moving my feet, opening my ears, being silent — it’s all healing. I’ve discover though,that mocking my grief is not the only way to reopen this healing wound, but also claiming apathy is too. Each time I’ve heard (with good intentions no doubt) that “it is what it is” or “well, it’s not really going to change that much” or “it’s still America” my stomach turns again. Firstly, by saying such things you are denying the validity of the other person’s emotional response. What is essentially being said is, “you shouldn’t feel this way because…” Secondly, let me say it loudly: APATHY TAKES US NOWHERE. Great movements have not risen from the ashes of APATHY. Good grief. Apathy is poison.
I pledge, right here and now to not be apathetic. Yes, the acute pain of this moment will wane to a dull ache for the next four years; but, I pledge to rise from my grief and let it stir me to EMPATHY. Empathy for the refugee, the immigrant, the unwed single pregnant mother, the homeless community, those in the LGBTQ community, and yes even those (whose pill is sometimes hardest to swallow) Trump supporting family members. Because THAT is the gospel. Remembering that ALL are created in the image of God; and that ALL have a place at the table. I am imperfect. I will fail, repeatedly I’m sure. But I will rise again and again and again.
I have turned to so many I consider leaders and peacemakers (and prophets) in these last 48+ hours. Here are a few:
Brene Brown hit it out of the park with this one.
Nadia is keeping it real.
Stephen Colbert’s election night sign off. Yes.
Jim Wallis on healing and resistance.
I listen to Diane Rehm almost every day.
Another summary and solution.
And my own archives of Parting Thoughts have revealed a few good nuggets 😉