"Those that have ears. Let them hear what the spirit is saying.." Mark 4:9 (NRSV)
In this moment I am longing to feel despair…
I am longing to feel hopeless…
I am longing to feel something other than numb.
Tonight, it appears that sexism has won.
Tonight, it appears that racism has won.
Tonight, it appears heterosexism has won.
Tonight, it appears that misogyny has won.
Tonight, it appears that xenophobia has won.
Tonight, it appears that environmental injustice has won.
Tonight, it appears that white male privilege has won.
Tonight, it appears that the evangelical church has won.
There are those who are longing for a word from God. I think God has spoken but not in the way you might think. I am reminded from 12 step programs that those who are addicted to drugs/alcohol will often not get help until they have hit rock bottom. America has not hit rock bottom but is clearly on its way.
I was coming home from work this afternoon with my youngest daughter and one of her friends. They had been helping me phone bank to remind people to vote on Monday and Tuesday. As we were walking to the Metro station to catch the train she began to ask me about moving to Canada. She was concerned that if Trump won he would send us back to Africa. I asked her to which country in Africa would he send us since we do not know from which country we came. Her question resonated a deep fear. I told her I would challenge anyone who questioned our citizenship as Americans. Our roots go back many generations, including those that built this country against their will. In that moment, I was angry that my child was scared. My beautiful, 12 year old, who had been taught that she could be anything and do anything that she wanted in this world in that moment felt the crushing limitations of her race and gender. Surely, the people of America would not let this happen to her. Surely, I would not let this happen to her. Surely, the fear she was feeling….is now happening to her... Damn…
Now let me be clear, I am not without hope. God is still God and has seen this world through despots, megalomaniacs and purely evil leaders before. Although, usually there is a great human costs that goes with these times. I do not want to suggest that the Divine allows this to happen but even in the sacred texts of our faith tradition (for me that would be Christianity) evil has arisen and it was used as a tool to call the people back to God. Now I am going to interpret this differently than my evangelical brother and sisters. I believe Donald Trump shows us the worst of what it means to be an American and I beleive the church that supported him shows what happens when human beings make theology in their own image. Deeply faithful people voted for a man that is sexist, racist, xenophobic, misogynistic, homophobic and war mongering. In the end, their vote reflects their faith. Somehow this does not seem to represent the God that I read in the text, especially the Christian texts called the New Testament. I am reminded that Jesus tells us that we must go the narrow way. I have never interpreted the narrow way as the easy way of just following along creating Christian robots in our wake. I believe the narrow way is the way of love. I believe the essence of our faith is about love that embraces all that this election wants us to hate. I believe the narrow way is not about fear and condemnation but about the love of God. I believe the narrow way calls us to truth telling and confession that creates healing and wholeness. I believe the narrow way calls us to care deeply about the other. I believe the narrow way embraces my 12 year old and shows her possibilities not fear. I am more committed now than ever that Love will win. I will not allow an anemic faith, full of fear and hate be the guide for my life or my family’s.
Tonight, I renew the call I offered some months ago to gather those who would be prophets in this generation. Not just those that want to give a word but those that will do a work, put their hands to the plow and not look back. Right now we need Prophets that will speak truth to power unequivocally and will speak truth to the people as well. We also need to be organized. It is evident that we need a major course correction. I am looking for folks that know “Love Wins”. I am not talking about an easy love where we all just feel good being together and everyone is happy. I am talking about a love that strives to go deep with honesty, agitation and truth so that we can build the Beloved Community of God.
In a few hours, I will get up and go to the office and work to “Change the Damn World” who will join me?
Grace and Peace,
+Dwayne D. Royster