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What Comes Next?
We each need to decide what matters most
and how expansive our plans and hopes need to be.
James Freeman Clarke put it this way:
A politician thinks of the next election;
a statesman thinks of the next generation.
Many (if not most) of us are experiencing anxiety and fear.
Many (if not most) of us are worried that
whatever happens today will be a lose-lose.
Many (if not most) of us just want it to be over
like a trip to the dentist or the results of a medical test.
We are not only electing a President and other officials,
we are electing how we choose to respond
to winning or losing.
We are electing whether we withdraw and sulk,
or withdraw in anger, or withdraw in denial.
The officials will be chosen by a majority,
but our attitude depends on no one but us.
This election has alerted us that there is a growing divide in our nation.
(You can put that line anywhere that makes sense to you…)
We can shrug and accept that as the status quo from here on out.
Or we can elect to do something about it now, right now,
before the next Ferguson, the next sexual assault,
the next cross burning, the next political election,
regardless of who gets elected this time.
Because unless we all win, we all lose.
[I will be out all day helping people vote. Please check in with my Facebook page where I will be posting throughout the day…not statistics, but words of hope and peace and confidence. Knowing that you will be reading them, will help keep me centered.]
I am posting this before the results of the election have come in…
I am posting it because it is clear from the numbers
that the final tally is going to reflect —
without a shadow of a doubt —
that we have
some very serious unresolved issues
and some very deep prejudices that have
not gone away; just underground.
We are going to need to open up messy and scary
conversations with people who are unlike us
(whoever we are)
and we are going to need to keep opening them up
until we begin to hear each other.
So I offer these words of A. Powell Davies
The prayers that we do not want to pray
because they would commit us to hard tasks
or require that we forsake our selfishness,
help us to pray for them.
Yea, O G-d, more than all the others,
let those be the prayers we pray.
My dear sisters and brothers,
Now that the event many of us have been fearing for the last six months has come to pass, we can waste our energy being indignant or we can hear it as the wake-up call we have been ignoring for a generation or more and wake up…Read More Here
There is a miracle in the Second Testament
that tells about Jesus feeding 5,000
and then gathering 12 baskets of ‘broken pieces left over.’
Broken pieces, fragments, leftovers.
Maybe other people are awestruck by the idea of feeding 5,000.
I am flabbergasted by the fact that
Jesus sent the disciples out among the folks
to gather up the crumbs.
It’s comforting…because I feel pretty fragmented and crumb-ish at the moment.
Earlier this year I commented that we are
a nation of leftovers and scraps and fragments.
This election has made it clear
that it is now the task of people of faith
(whether faith in G-d or faith in the inherent goodness of humanity
to take up the work of cherishing the flotsam and jetsam
(including our own broken selves)
and gathering together in mismatched groups
to share our wisdom,
and stand in solidarity with the marginalized,
and lend our strength to the vulnerable,
and be inspired by whimsical ideas we would never have considered,
and receive the gifts of simplicity,
and share the bounty with which we have been entrusted.
If you would like to read the whole post from February,
you can find it HERE.
We are not alone…
One of the powerful lessons I learned (indeed, am still learning)
from this election is that too many of us feel alone,
as if we are living in an emotional and relational vacuum.
Too many people believe that no one knows (or cares)
how they feel or what is happening to them.
Too many people feel that their reality is dismissed
by the system – and those who hold power –
as meaningless, or as their own fault,
or as less important than someone else’s…
and the only help they are given is the suggestion
that they suck it up and deal.
We need to stop colluding in that lie.
We/I/You are not alone.
We are not intended to be alone.
The human psyche needs other psyches,
the human heart needs other hearts,
the human soul needs other souls.
We need one another with a deep, hard-wired need.
The very last thing we should do is ‘suck it up and deal.’
Instead, we need to be vulnerable and ask for help.
We need to reach out. We need to make friends.
We need to share meals and jokes and childcare.
We need to hold coffee klatches and quilting bees.
We need to raise barns (along with wages).
We need to remember we are never alone,
Others have walked before us and still walk alongside us.
There is a gift hidden in the grief we may be feeling
and, G-d willing, it will finally catapult us into
being stronger and happier…
I have been turning these last weeks
to the people who have inspired and encouraged me
through the course of my adult life.
One of those persons is Archbishop Oscar Romero
who dared to stand against the injustices
of the government of San Salvador
and who was assassinated in 1972, while celebrating Mass.
He offers us this vision of the kin-dom of G-d:
Peace is not the product of terror or fear.
Peace is not the silence of cemeteries.
Peace is not the silent result of violent repression.
Peace is the generous, tranquil contribution of all
to the good of all.
Peace is dynamism. Peace is generosity.
It is right and it is duty.
Text © 2016, Andrea La Sonde Anastos
Photos © 2012, 2015, 2016 Immram Chara, LLC