I’ve been really distraught these last few weeks. After the results of the election, I was angry, confused, scared, disgusted, hopeless. I was mad at God. I felt like we had been abandoned. That God’s guiding hand let go of us and evil has taken hold of our country.
Talks of white supremacists entering positions of power in our country. Talks of closing our border to immigrants and refugees based solely on their religion. Talks of making Muslims register their religion with the government. Hate crimes are on the rise. Blatant disregard for the basic principles on which our country was founded are being disregarded for the narrow and self-serving view of a small group of narrow-minded people whose primary driver is fear.
But I find myself continually turning to God for strength. God is always there…in our pain and in our joy, in our sureness and in our confusion, in our strength and in our weakness. It’s okay to be mad at God. It’s okay to need a break now and then. But in the end, God is always with us in the midst of all our struggles and all of our celebrations.
I find myself singing this song in my head a lot lately. It brings me strength and confidence that in spite of the failures our human society might make, there is still a spark of hope within each of us. Let us never give up on that spark of hope that is within each of us…even those of us who may exhibit darkness or evil actions toward others.
Within our darkest night you kindle a fire that never dies away, that never dies away.
Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom;
Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.
The river is of the earth
and it is free. It is rigorously
embanked and bound,
and yet is free. “To hell
with restraint,” it says.
“I have got to be going.”
It will grind out its dams.
It will go over or around them.
They will become pieces.
–Wendell Berry, Leavings
May you know that absence is alive with hidden presence, that nothing is ever lost or forgotten.
May the absences in your life grow full of eternal echo.
May you be generous in your embrace of loss.
May the sore well of grief turn into a seamless flow of presence.
May your compassion reach out to the one we never hear from.
May you have the courage to speak for the excluded ones.
May you become the gracious and passionate subject of your own life.
May you be embraced by God in whom dawn and twilight are one.
May your longing inhabit its dreams within the Great Belonging.
–from John O’Donahue, To Bless the Space Between Us.
In all my studies of psychology and spirituality, I have found hope for real wholeness only in the human heart’s desire for love in the present moment. The experience is utterly simple. It exists before any words or symbols are applied to it, and it is who we are. In one silent breath, the love- force in us gives us our identity and draws us toward our home and destiny. We are created by love, to live in love, for the sake of love. Out of this simple ground arise all our beautiful differences; love expresses itself in delicious diversity in our different families and cultures, in women and in men, in the young and the old, and in each human being’s unique personality and history. We are endlessly diverse and unique in our hues and textures, but we are also all one; love is expressing itself not only through us but as us.
One’s essential identity is not to be found in one’s ancestors or archetypes, one’s gender or race, one’s childhood experiences or adult accomplishments. Such attributes are only expressions of a simpler, deeper truth. They are the tones, instruments, cadences and chords of the human symphony, arising fresh in each moment, sounding through time. The sound may seem harmonious or discordant, sweet or harsh, but it is one song of love.
Gerald May, “The Awakened Heart: Living Beyond Addiction,” (New York: HarperCollins, 1991), p. 16-17.