Hello. I am finally emerging from a place of despair. It has been quite a while since I last posted and the worst possible outcome for the election has occurred. I could not have in my wildest imaginings predicted this outcome.
Our new president is so unfit for office yet a large enough number of people came out and voted for him that we are stuck with him and praying wholeheartedly that he will not destroy the country. I cannot believe that people in the United States would not take the time to vote, would choose not to vote, or honestly thought Donald Trump would be okay in the highest office. So far, he has done some crazy things. He stands for only a few of the people of the country without regard to the rest of us. He even has betrayed those who voted for him.
I was truly in despair for a while but have focussed my energy on forms of resistance, care for others and limiting my “news” input. There is such potential for damaging our country and taking steps backward in our progress. It is encouraging that so many are engaging in peaceful forms of resistance. There is serious dialogue about some of the most important challenges facing our nation. Conversations about race and gender and injustice are far more frequent and meaningful. The election of Donald trump may have in fact exposed some very deep injustices that have up until now been ignored.
The big question now should be what do you want your nation to be? We can be a country which values all of its people or one that continues to enrich a small number at the expense of everyone else. We can be a country that respects human dignity and sees all of its citizens as human beings wanting the same things for themselves and their children or we can continue to dismiss segments of society. We can be a nation that supports a clean green world, even as we have to come to grips with the fact that we are responsible for the state we are in or we can continue polluting and denying the problems. We can honor our constitution and hold that all citizens of the US have rights, including basic needs to support life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness or we can throw it out the window and treat some as expendable to provide a luxurious life for a few.
I would like our country to be a model to the world. We have great resources. We should be a nation that excels in caring for our people. A place where hatred does not exist. We can call others out on human rights violations when we discontinue that here. We are great innovators, producers, manufacturers and developers. We can reach great heights without diminishing others. It would be great to see our economy flourish from bottom to top. If our “poor” are still able to have a decent life, the wealthy can continue to build business and succeed. But until there is no poverty in the U.S. it is sinful for individuals and corporations to amass such wealth as is unusable. True positive Power comes from using wealth to improve the world. Many in power now only horde wealth, or squander it. There is so much potential for the United States. I will continue to pray for a miracle – change of heart so that all people of our nation realize that when all are cared for, all of us benefit. It would be a miracle if each person saw themselves as part of the human family and not as an entitled one. I pray!
A PRAYER FOR OUR NATION
Oh God in Your mercy free us from ourselves.
Let us love. Let hatred leave our thoughts.
Let forgiveness come to us and from us.
Open our hearts wide to embrace rather than shun.
Open our minds to understand that we are all human beings with needs.
Open our hands
To let go of some things that control us and
To grab on to things that make the world a better place
Open our mouths to speak the truth to ignorance and injustice
To give voice to those who currently have no voice
To encourage others to care
To offer words to uplift and support and not diminish or shame
Open our ears and eyes
To see the needs
To hear those who cry out for help
To witness the good in the world and make known the cruelties
To acknowledge and accept people in their desire to live their life freely
O Holy One, give us a sense of self worth that dictates our treatment of others.
Let us live our lives as if we know that each action matters
Let us behave as if every life on earth matters
And Let it explode throughout humanity
This was a very special Christmas. With all the stuff going on in the world that makes you want to curl up and hide, it was especially nice to think about Jesus and how he came into the world to be a fighter for justice, to show that love is a cure to all our woes, to help us see that being in relationship with God and with each other is heaven on earth.
Decorating the tree was great- I got to pray for so many people as I hung each ornament. The house looked cheery and I noticed that many people chose to decorate early this year. My guess is that like me, they needed something bright and happy to counter all the killing, abuse, violence and hatred in the world. Celebrating Christmas gives you strength and energy to make a difference in the world around you. I am grateful for my faith, for Jesus and the celebration of His birth. Worshiping with my church family was special this year.
I was surrounded by my dear wonderful family. It is fantastic having adult children who want to spend the Holidays with you. I am abundantly grateful for family and friends. I pray for all those who are lonely, grieving, or can’t enjoy Christmas for whatever reason. I wish them comfort. My prayer is for the deep peace of Christ to enter into their hearts to help them heal.
We are in the process of rethinking who we are as church in our congregation. The transition period is a little unnerving for a woman who likes structure. I have been praying a lot in these many months. I’m trying to discern where God wants me in this. As is always the case, when I pray there is hope and a sense of well being in me. It is still uncomfortable but I know God is present and active and I trust that I will be called where I will grow.
So, that was not enough, the region has decided to undergo a complete transformation as well. Here is one way I am being called to act. I have taken on some leadership at this level. It is a bit uncertain as well but I am trusting that I was led this direction for a reason.
I just returned from General Assembly and guess what? The entire denomination is beginning a transition. The writing is on the wall and we are at a place where we either change or die. WOW!
In every case the movement is away from a corporate model to a model much more like the beginning of our Christian movement. I mean WAYYY back when people were gathering who still knew the person Jesus or his disciples.
I am all for that kind of thinking. It pains me to see what some people do in the name of Jesus. They act like they have never read the Bible or heard the stories of Jesus’ ministry on earth. The man was passionate about justice, about caring, about equality and about living a life filled with love. If we can get ourselves out of the confines of the church building we might find that living a life that is truly Christ-like is actually easier than we thought. He said love one another. If we take that to heart we can change the world.
I am so grateful for all those who stand alongside those who are marginalized for one reason or another. It is not an easy place to be. It takes a lot of courage to get outside your own protected box and help those who are not so protected. Injustice is often veiled/masked in a way that you miss it unless you look hard at it. In our happy little world where we have what we need and more we can completely be unaware that there are many who are hungry, homeless, working poor, or ignored. While most people in the US have enough to eat etc, there are still many who struggle to have all basic needs met, like food AND medicine AND job security AND a decent safe place to live. Choices have to be made and quite frankly I think it is horrible to have to do that in a country as rich as ours. Before someone says anyone can “pull themselves up by their own bootstraps” let me tell you that that phrase is nonsensical. You can’t. There are systems in place (racist, sexist, homophobic, ageist) that make it hard for people to ever escape from poverty, or have the luxury to just relax about life from time to time. So, thank you to all those who are working to make a difference, who are trying to move our country into the 21st century, who think lives matter. Thanks for helping those who are struggling to help themselves, thank you for standing beside them. Thank you for helping those whose voices are not heard. Thank you for supporting those who are are saying enough is enough, we are tired of fighting these systems. The work is hard and can be so frustrating but as we inch toward real justice and yes, though it seems glacial at times, it is really the work of love and compassion. Peace is possible. Justice for all is possible, but love must be the basis for this. We have to love one another and remember that if some of us suffer and we do nothing about it, we are all the worse for it. Equality does not mean we all have the same stuff. It means we are all valued as human beings and that we all respected for who we are. Children of God.
We were moving along nicely minding our own business feeling great when out of the blue things happened reminding us of our fragile nature, of our mortality. My son got sick, I got into a car accident. He could have died, I could have died. But we didn’t. I took notice and started to feel the reality of humanity. We are born, we die. In between we live. It is so easy to take that life for granted – Until you think you about the possibility of losing it. I’ve read many accounts of people’s brushes with death but until now it was not an experience I have had.
My life has been relatively easy. I’ve had my ups and downs but overall it has been good. I often marvel at the wonder of life. The amazing human body, the birth of a child, the metamorphosis of a butterfly. Look to the heavens and they tell the story of the creator who made the universe in all its splendor and yet loves each one of us and truly each little piece of the creation. Yes, life is precious and each moment holds possibilities for experiencing the wonder of God who is manifest in all there is. We just need to pay attention. I am grateful for this life.