After the Election – 11/13/16

This has been a very hard week for most of us.  It has been for me.  I have been going through all the stages of grief, trying to understand how the election turned out the way it did.  I have been through denial, thinking I would soon wake up from a nightmare.  My disappointment soon turned to anger and to rage. I started hoping that maybe it won’t be so bad, that perhaps our President Elect is really not as horrifying as he seems. I went through bargaining, maybe the electoral college will save us, maybe Trump will be impeached or even jailed before the inauguration.  I have been depressed, wanting to pull the metaphorical covers over my head so I did not have to face the reality of the country we now find ourselves living in.  I wrote 3 poems in the first 3 days as all of those emotions swirled inside of me.  I was trying to find some hope in the midst of my grief.

 

Let me read them.

 

The Morning After

Morning comes

Even if sleep has not

The dawning sun laughs

Look at me she says

I have seen far worse

On your poor planet.

Get up.

Get a grip.

We have a light

That needs to shine.

It might take years

But the nightmare will end

If we stay strong.

 

 

2 Days After

Grief comes

The tears flow

Denial is sweet

Then I remember

Anger comes

How could they?

Even some of my family

Grief comes

The bitter taste of fear

Pain in my stomach

But most of all in my heart

Where is Love?

Then I remember

It is everywhere

We can find it

If we look

Hope lives inside me

For a moment

Bargaining

Before the tears come again

The cycle of grief

Goes on

Then when it is over

We get busy

We are the lovers

And protectors

Of the planet

And of the vulnerable

Acceptance and then

Action

 

And on the Third Day

I felt it last night

Just before I fell asleep

Something stirred

That I thought had died.

It came awake

A force, a power.

Three days of pain

Fear anger grief

Buried deep

In a cold tomb of despair.

But then

On this third day

The Spirit rose again to say

Life lives and

Love will never be denied.

Go into the world

It said

Spread the message

Be fierce be bold

Be brave

Resurrection is not easy

But faith will be reborn

 

 

 

The last poem contains some Christian imagery, but I think the Easter story has some relevance for all of us on this November Day.  When Jesus was murdered by the Roman empire, his followers were in despair.  Their dreams had died with him.  The forces of the empire were too strong, the future would hold nothing but more death and destruction.

 

A lot of us feel exactly that way right now.  There will surely be more scapegoating and increase in violence against Muslims, immigrants, people of color, and gay lesbian bisexual and transgender people. That is already happening. Mass deportations will be implemented if we can’t stop them. The first amendment, including freedom of the press is in danger, and all of us may need to learn how to survive in a time of heavy surveillance and very possibly a police state.

 

Somehow, more than 2000 years ago, people found the courage, in the midst of their despair, to go out into the wolrd and preach the message of their faith, the core of which is “Love your neighbor.”

 

I pray that we can find a similarly strong faith in the saving message of Unitarian Universalism.  With this new reality we no longer have the luxury of resting on our laurels, of doing social justice only when it is convenient, of hiding away in a liberal enclave while we watch our planet and our very civilization be destroyed.  We are now called to act, to speak out, to put our very bodies on the line when necessary.  We need to reach out to others – to those who are afraid – to pledge that we will protect them – to other religious and non-religious communities who can be allies in this struggle.

We might start with the church that owns this building asking perhaps that if necessary, can we make this a physical sanctuary for those who may be deported.

Can we pledge to feed and clothe the families we may need to shelter?  Will we hide them in our own homes and help them escape in our own cars? Can we commit fully in support of Native American water protectors, with the Black Lives Matter movement, with the ACLU and Planned Parenthood, with everyone who is committed to the inherent worth and dignity of all and to protecting our planet which sustains all of our lives?

 

Get ready people.  Get ready.  It is OK to continue to grieve.  Rest in denial when you need to, make your bargains, hide in your beds, let the drug of anger soothe your soul.

 

And while you are doing those things, prepare yourselves.  Get ready.  Pray if that helps you, and then decide what you will do.

 

During WWII, Unitarians Martha and Waitsill Sharp risked their own their lives to save people from the Nazi Regime.  Courage in the face of injustice is in our DNA.  We can and will rise to the challenge.  There is no other choice.

Will you be ready to join with us?

(Explain safety pins and what they mean)

 

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