"Be who God meant you to be and you will set the whole world on fire." St. Catherine of Siena
On Friday, January 20th we'll have a new President of these United States and to many of us that feels..... upsetting and terrifying and we're all sorts of confused.
The way things have been going lately....
Doom and Gloom.
Despair makes sense. So much sense.
Grief is utterly appropriate. All the stages. Anger and denial have been my closest friends. You?
But, with each passing moment of the truth setting in, my grief turns to fire.
The flame that's burned steady and slow for years has been reignited and set ablaze.
Who is responsible, after all, for setting this planet on fire? Me. And you. Individuals. One at a time. One quiet voice, one tiny heart, one pair of hands. One broken, burdened, impassioned individual after another, becoming in the world all that she was meant to be. A voice. A story. Lived out loud. Rising up. One dream. One vision. One bleeding heart. The revolution has always only ever been small and within. Mustard seeds.
One candle lighting a thousand candles and a thousand more until the whole world shines.
"And you, beloved, are the light of the world. A city built on a hilltop cannot be hidden. Similarly it would be silly to light a lamp and then hide it under a bowl. When someone lights a lamp, she puts it on a table or a desk or a chair, and the light illumines the entire house. You are like that illuminating light. Let your light shine everywhere you go, that you may illumine creation, so men and women everywhere may see your good actions, may see creation at its fullest..." Matthew 5:14-16
As so many of my fellow humans wonder now about their safety and their basic human rights, my heart's fire is bursting anew. How many times do I choose not to speak up because: plenty of more qualified people are already saying what needs to be said, no one will really listen to me, I don't even know what to say, I can't actually make a difference, only three people even read my blog, I'm not that talented, I don't have time and energy, someone might stop liking me, I might mess up. These are not excuses made by people who seek to oppress. Messages of violence don't ever wait until they got enough sleep the night before. Messages of hate don't worry about perfectly crafted sentences that will leave crowds in awe. The messages of oppression in our world are committed, loud, and steadfast. I seek to heal, restore, renew, innovate and be the revolution of love our world so desperately needs and so I must be at least as committed to my message as those who've forgotten that we belong to each other.
My response to a Trump presidency? To a country that voted for Trump? To a country still so ravaged by racism, misogyny, religious elitism, and every form of oppression out there? To shine. The light I have to offer the darkness is my voice: my stories, my opinions, my poetry and prayers, my thoughts, feelings and reactions. The world's version of power is to take, take, and take some more, but I believe in the power of a God whose power is not in ruling over the weak but in constantly offering up all of herself in perfect grace. I will emulate that power and offer everything I have to the world and what I have is my voice and my love. When hatred is blaring, I'll get louder. When violence is all we can hear, I'll get louder. No excuses for hiding my light under a bowl. I'll pray daily and from the rooftops. I'll shout my poetry and prose from every corner. Until this land is really made for you and me.
Louder with my love. That's the fire lit under me from this unbelievable turn of events.
"I see the kids in the streets
With not enough to eat
Who am I to be blind?
Pretending not to see their needs"