Three days later and the unthinkable is still a reality.
How do we begin to recover while living in a country that now suffers from self-imposed tragedy? For anyone who has ever suffered hatred, economic and racial injustice, oppression, sexism, violence, loss through unjust murder or is a victim, in any way, of the rape culture, the devastation is tangible. Collectively, none of us can ever breathe the same again. And to clarify for the ones who love to use religious platitudes in a time of profound suffering, we know that the President is just a man. We know that God is still in control and we know that Jesus is still Lord, for those of us who choose this as our belief system. Thank you for your pep talk, it won’t help in our grief however. Now let’s get down to brass tacks. This mortifying election was truly about love vs. hate, unity vs. racism and freedom vs. oppression. The outcome was the symbol of our nation’s heart… and what a sick, fragmented, hateful heart it has become. But that is not who the majority of us are. There is still much hope, if we ban together.
On Tuesday morning, as my mind began to spin out of control, I heard the villainous jeers whispering in my ears: hate won, hate won, what are you going to do now? I cried, not soft quiet tears, I cried from my belly with guttural moans. The prophetic resides in the belly. I cried for every Native American ever terrorized and murdered on this land. I cried for every slave ever beaten, chained and whipped. I cried for every body that ever hung from a tree from senseless hatred. I cried for every immigrant used and abused by this country. I cried for every woman humiliated and discarded through sexism, misogyny and rape. I cried for our children who have to bear the weight of a careless and greedy nation. I cried over graves with no headstones because the bodies within were never considered human beings. I cried for every gay man and woman disowned from their families and attacked by society, both physically and religiously. I cried for our elders who worked so hard to bring us to a better land only for us to wake up on the same bloody soil. I cried for our first Black President and First Lady, who endured hardness like good soldiers and still managed to maintain dignity and grace. I cried for the deceived religious elite, who really believe that they can reach the world through hatred and division. Oh, did I cry…
I thought that it would take days to collect myself. I couldn’t tell my youngest son the results on my own. My despair was too heavy, that’s when I reached out and the healing began. I began by group texting my older children along with their father. Help, I said, I can’t tell Tim. I don’t want him to see me this way. One by one they began to respond. Tim’s dad called and explained the results to him in a way that wouldn’t worry him. We all kept texting, expressing grief, anger and sadness. The healing was beginning. By mid-afternoon I had texted, called and messaged several of my friends from various backgrounds and ethnicities. Their voices were important to me. I needed my community of diversity to help restore my faith in the world. We grieved together, we encouraged each other. Love was working. I began telling my friends that I loved them in one form or another. Each time the words came out, my heart grew stronger. I felt less faint. Love was healing. I slept that afternoon for the first time in days. That evening I had dinner with friends who represent interracial love. We talked, laughed and grieved together. We sought out the light in the darkness together and I felt lifted. Love was winning.
May I encourage you to seek others who love humanity with the same intensity as you do? When my daughter said that she was nervous about the climate on campus Wednesday, I told her to look for the people who had grief in their eyes, they’re hurting like you and can be trusted to mourn with.
During the last few days, through much thought and prayer, I have come to the understanding that there is a time in life that we all must assess the people and ideologies that we surround ourselves with. This election, along with the pressing social injustices that have flooded our news in recent history, has uncovered the darkness in the hearts of many, along with the unwillingness to admit to the faults of this country and its sins. It has been open season for all who wish to express in clear undeniable detail that social injustice persists. Many have clung to a belief system that was rooted and grounded in the Jim Crow error and the church that turned a blind eye to hatred for people of color. I have read commentary from those who blame the victim and claim ignorance at the same time. The hypocrisy is astounding and I can no longer bear witness to it, nor befriend it in the hopes that such hearts will change. It is obvious that the line in the sand of good and evil has been drawn and many wish to dwell in the land of evil claiming it as their birthright of patriotism, while defiantly ignoring the call to love your neighbor as yourself. And just to clarify, this does not mean that I choose to separate from anyone who doesn’t share my same belief system in all aspects of life, this separation is about far more than a mere differing of opinion, anyone who has been trying to tap below this granite surface for any length of time understands that.
These are the words that have resounded in my ears within the last few days:
The American church has lost all credibility with the world. It will never be viewed the same again. This has been a long time coming. Slowly but surely those who warmed the pews have spilled out into the streets joining those who have never entered its doors. The American church has revealed the highest level of hypocrisy for the entire world to see. The by-standers are just as accountable as the perpetrators. By refusing to speak up and to cry aloud and spare none, many have sown hatred where there should be peace as well. There is no such thing as a neutral stance between good and evil. Remove yourself from the appearance of religion completely because it is an empty and lifeless exercise. It will simply prove itself as a display of an antiquated behavior, producing no real results for the world. I am ignoring the religious and the loveless of this land. Rise up with the poets, the prophets, the teachers, the singers, the dancers and the artist. Become an activist pursuing love at all costs, especially for those who do not share your culture. Come out from your sterilized surroundings padded with people who look and act like you. Abandon the notion that I don’t hear the prayers of the entire world and all those that seek me in ways that are foreign to you. Stop trying to get people to come into your buildings and go into the streets, the cities and the highways to live amongst the seekers, while asking me for wisdom and guidance along the way. Choose life, outside of religion and receive new life.
Lend your church buildings to recreation centers, daycares, after school programs, employment agencies, food pantries and civic centers. Offer your lavish establishments and your storefronts to community needs instead of hosting your own weekly club meetings.
Tuesday morning’s resounding question was: what are we going to do? There is rioting, kkk rallies and harsh dissension all over the country. People are afraid of being attacked on the streets. How do we live amongst such hate and go on with our daily lives?
My personal directive is to dig deeper and stand my ground with civility and knowledge. Ignorance and hatred is what got us into this mess and it’s going to take higher thinking to get us out. We don’t have to be doormats and accept the visceral behavior, we just have to outsmart low level thinking. They want us to display the same hate that they are showing. It thrills a racist mind if we choose to become fearful beyond words and angry with rage. Fear yields power and tells your enemy that you believe that they are stronger than you. Refuse to be intimidated by the men in white sheets and the shaved heads. Refuse to let them steal your peace and relinquish your power. Stand strong and fight the power of hatred with civility. Head up, chin raised, eyes toward heaven, with an un-flinchable resolve, that’s the stance that we need to take against the self-appointed oppressors. Dignity is not a language that they can understand or war against.
Take that stance into your workplaces and communities. Teach your children how to walk with authority and wisdom. Read often and speak boldly about the history of this nation and its slow moving demise from its inception. Create a new language of unity and acceptance. Broaden your social circles. Stop just having that “one friend” who’s (insert ethnicity here.) We can’t keep thinking that this movement will only be advanced by one particular race of people and others cannot be trusted. For those that like to quote Malcolm X by saying: By any means necessary, remember that his life changed when he traveled to Mecca and began seeing men of other races who believed the same as he did. Only then did he understand the error of what he was taught to believe and that the “blue eyed devil” is a misnomer. Remember there have always been abolitionists who aided the oppressed at the expense of their own lives. They are still alive and well today. The movement is love vs. hate, not black vs. white.
There will only be a remnant of Christians that answer this call and leave their Sunday morning rituals for action that makes a difference. The majority will be people who do not claim to belong to any one belief system but who do have genuine love for their fellow man while desiring nothing more than to ignite a love revolution. If that shocks or bothers you, just remember the church has had more chances than we can count to come out of its lifeless ways and to actually live as Christ. This is the final result of seeking after its own self-interests and ignoring the greatest humanitarian ever known…Jesus Christ.
If you belong to a ministry that actively seeks to model Christ’s behavior in its ENTIRTY, then you are part of a much needed remnant in the earth. But make no mistake, this is only evident to the world by how you treat your fellow man.
#lovealution (love revolution)
I hope it catches on…