Since the election on November 8, I have been dreading the holiday season. I’m troubled and anxious by the rise of visible and outspoken White Supremacists being named to top positions in the government as well as the worst fallen angels of our American soul called forth and emboldened by Trump’s campaign and election causing fear, injury, and pain to our neighbors. On top of that, Thanksgiving arrives with white militarized police terrorizing peaceful native Americans trying to force them once again to cede their land, their heritage, and their dignity. And down the road, Christmas is coming with a threat to round up people like Cesar calling a census and making “no room at the inn” a federal policy towards middle eastern refugees. The irony is almost too painful to bear.
And yet…this past week I have gone from shock and deep seated mourning to steadying myself a bit for the road ahead. I need to be in spiritual and physical shape. I need to be ready to learn and ready to lead. I need to be ready to act. I’m scared and yet I’m getting ready. And all of a sudden there’s a bit more clarity to living and an awareness of the simplest things that are the greatest blessings: I have a roof over my head, I eat every day, I have family and friends I love dearly and who love me. I have relatively good health. I have lived long enough now to have gathered at least a little wisdom. AND…I have had the fortune of a great education and training in many subjects and skills that have prepared me well for times such as these.
So, instead of a morose holiday season, I lean into Thanksgiving with as open a heart as I have in a long time. I have gathered food and given it to those whose food security is much less than mine and today I will eat with my family and cherish every minute of it. I have written friends and family to tell them I love them this morning. I am giving thanks with everything I’ve got for it is for these simple things most of all -for my right to them and for everyone’s right to them – I am called to resist the hatred, bigotry and violence of our time.
I’m giving thanks for my ministerial calling in a way I haven’t in a long time, for it is becoming increasingly apparent that I was (and so were you) called for times such as these.