God has a plan…the plan is good…I am a part of that plan
When I woke up Wednesday morning I imagine I knew what Jonah must have felt like in the belly of the beast: it smelled bad, entrails and foulness seemed to be all-encompassing, darkness as far as the eye—couldn’t see. In the grips of fear my thoughts wandered to outlandish places:
• How could God allow this to happen?
• What will become of my Mexican brothers and sisters when their DACA expire?
• Will my marriage to my husband come into question if a conservative Supreme Court throws Marriage Equality back to a State’s Rights question?
• Will my friend with Type 1 diabetes be forced back into poverty to get on AHCCCS to be able to get the medical care she needs because private insurance won’t cover her once the pre-existing conditions of the Affordable Care Act expire in 2018?
Yes, my brothers and sisters, I was (and still am to some extent) full of fear and anxiety.
And then the still small voice of God started to penetrate my consciousness, slowly, but consistently:
God has brought me this far hasn’t He, is now the time to lose faith and believe I am going it alone?
As many of you know in graduate school I focused my studies on the 20th century American Presidency. And if there is one thing I have learned: it’s all cyclical. Now before you jump out of your pews and shout me down with expletives of how: ‘This times it’s different’ and ‘Didn’t you hear the things he said and what he has proposed’. Let me say resoundingly: YES. I did hear, and it does concern me.
But I don’t believe one man is bigger than my God, one man is not stronger than a motivated people that are speaking truth to power and standing up for Justice.
Fears of what will happen in the upcoming weeks, months, or years can be frightening, but God is found right here, in the present. I ask myself all the time, what is the next indicated thing? Can I reach out to a friend that is hurting? Lend a hand to feed a neighbor in need? Work with fellow congregants to create a sacred space to provide a safe place for those that are marginalized who will need our help now more than ever?
And I ask you this, if we live into our motto as UCC: No matter who you are, no matter where you are on your life’s journey, you are welcome here. If two people were to enter the back of our sanctuary right now, at this moment, one wearing a Hillary shirt, the other wearing a Trump shirt, would we welcome both to worship with us? Would be have compassion? Compassion-broken down means ‘with passion’. So let’s do that, live with passion.
Call on your legislator, get involved to change policy. Get active in your community: at this church, in your neighborhood, do something.
We are a gentle angry people, yes, and we are going to more than sing for our lives. We will take action.
But my friends, walk the clock back 8 years for just a moment, when the shoe was on the other foot, the White House and both chambers of Congress. Just as much fear, anger, and disillusionment was found on the other side of the political spectrum. This too shall pass…and we can make a difference in our actions, but not by spewing the same vile rhetoric we so vehemently opposed during the process. We have to be better than that. We must be better than that.
A little less than one year ago many of you came to this very house of worship and witnessed the marriage between Al and me. Most of my family was here supporting us. Most of those same family members do not have the same political views that I do. They are not racists, they are not homophobic, and they do not want to see my marriage rights taken away.
When we lump people into the ‘ALL’ category, aren’t we doing what we abhor so much when it’s done to us?
The wounds of this political season run deep, and we need time to heal. Everyone has a right to process the grief, pain and loss in their own time and at their own pace.
God has a plan—and I am not presumptuous enough to think that my finite mind can imagine what the infinite has in store.
The plan in good—and I know this because God is good…all the time.
And I am part of that plan—because I am a beloved child of God, and so is every living creature on the face of the earth. EVERY…SINGLE…PERSON.
I pray that as a community of faith, we nurture our brothers and sisters to well being, be bold in our actions to create a sanctuary for those that will have an even greater need now, and may God bless us do His will.