I’m so sick of what this election is doing to my soul. I actually LOVE people. I really do… I love humanity. I am a lover. Even the parts of us that are broken are still so beautiful… So filled with potential, and the capacity to learn and change and grow. These daily stories of one man’s brokenness would normally evoke a sense of pity in me, but this sense that so many people are championing the darkest parts of our humanity… It’s just so draining to me. It’s exhausting. It’s affecting the way I see people. I find myself feeling suspicious… Feeling disconnected. Wondering if the person I’m talking to is one of THOSE people… Who supports THAT person.
But I am not cynical. I am hopeful. I am a lover. Anger and suspicion and cynicism is not who I am. Those things are not who WE are. We are better than this. I am a person who believes we are BETTER than this. I am a lover, and I will say it as many times as I need to say it until I remember that it’s true. There are times when it is appropriate to point out how messed up something is… And there are other times when we just need to remind people (and ourselves) of the beauty of humanity. Even now, everything in me wants to make a case… I want to explain the absurdity of people who call themselves “Christians” supporting someone that… But this post is not about “making a case.” Not unless it is a case for the wonder and worth that is humanity. Unless it is a case for how truly beloved we are… ALL of us. We are loved. And things like art and community and love and bravery and beauty and rational conversation and kindness and family–these things point toward a larger love in the world. They point toward a benevolent universe, calling us to realize our potential. Calling us to believe we are better than this. Calling us to trust that we are safe and loved. It can be easy to forget…
This morning I found myself (as I often do) staring at a computer screen through giant tears, as I watched a man reunite with a brother who he hadn’t seen in four years. He was overcome with joy… And a moment later, as he turned around to see his mother (who he hadn’t seen in TEN years), the beauty of it all was just too much for him. Please watch him crumple to the ground. And remind yourself that we are better than this. Remind yourself that you are a lover. And that you are beloved… Beloved with the same sort of love that can send a grown man to the floor at the sight of the face of someone he loves so dearly. Please watch this. Even if you watched it before, please watch it again.
Watch him drop his keys and take his hat off. Notice the way he grabs his brother’s head so he can see his face. Consider the fact that you don’t need to speak the same language (or vote for the same person) in order for the love in that room to change your heart in some small way. Listen to the sounds of happiness coming from the one who is recording the video. Let this man’s smile and his tears wash away the cynicism of the 24 hour news cycle. Take a deep breath, and remember that you are a lover. Remember that we are better than this.
At Church this past Sunday, everybody’s kids stayed for the whole service. The kids were greeters, and they took collection, and they even helped with Communion. While our children’s pastor gave the message, kids meandered onto the stage with her. And it was just like humanity… Messy and beautiful. At the end of the service, she read a prayer that was from a liturgy from the Iona Community. Here it is:
With the whole church:
We affirm that we are made in God’s image, befriended by Christ, empowered by the Spirit
With people everywhere:
We affirm God’s goodness at the heart of humanity, planted more deeply than all that is wrong
With all creation:
We celebrate the miracle and wonder of life, the unfolding purposes of God, forever at work in ourselves and in the world
It was so what I needed. Maybe you need it too. All I could think about for a few days were those words, “planted more deeply than all that is wrong.” YES. YES YES YES! We affirm God’s goodness. At the heart of humanity. Planted more deeply than all that is wrong. Oh God, help me to believe those words… Help US to believe those words… And when we forget them, Oh God, remind us. Remind us of beauty. Remind us we are loved. Remind us we are lovers. Remind us we are better than this.
It you want to, when you find more videos and stories that remind you there is beauty all around us, that we are worth it, that there is hope, etc… Maybe use the hashtag #WeAreBetterThanThis to make it easier for other people to find those stories on Facebook and Twitter when they need a reminder as well. Also, if you value this blog and want to help support it, YOU TOTALLY CAN.