I know you’ve all been rattled by this campaign season, the election and the aftermath. I will admit. I haven’t been able to sleep well since the election was decided.
For the last year and more, I have heard from many participants and visitors to Tapestry stories of hardship, stories of discrimination because of skin color or the language someone speaks or another person’s accent. I have participated in marches and prayed for justice in the face of violence, as people have lost their homes. and because some of our people don’t have access to some kinds of life-saving healthcare because of their immigration status. The people of Tapestry talked long ago about their fear of the likelihood of civil war as a result of the campaigns and elections. They were afraid of revolution, not from communities of color, but from white communities.
And I have listened to the people who I have the blessing of walking with, and I have expressed this palpable fear to my colleagues and friends. And today as I write this, I wonder what I am supposed to say. I have received calls, texts, IMs and other messages from friends, colleagues and other brothers and sisters in Christ, people of color, immigrants who are naturalized citizens and those who don’t have legal documents, from LGBTQ friends and from my own family. They have told me they’re scared. They’ve told me they’re heartbroken. They express disbelief as they have been vilified by others who they thought were sisters and brothers in Christ. They’re wondering what to do now.
And some are wondering where God is in all of this.
And I wonder how to comfort God’s beloved sons and daughters. And I do the only things I can do. I continue to do God’s kingdom work with Tapestry. I continue to listen to the sighs and groans of the people. I pray. And I turn to Scripture. Here’s from James, chapter 1:
You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; for your anger does not produce God’s righteousness. Therefore rid yourselves of all sordidness and rank growth of wickedness, and welcome with meekness the implanted word that has the power to save your souls.
But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves. For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror; for they look at themselves and, on going away, immediately forget what they were like.But those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being not hearers who forget but doers who act—they will be blessed in their doing.
If any think they are religious, and do not bridle their tongues but deceive their hearts, their religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
I know people are angry. And I get that. I am angry, too. So many of us will feel this anger. Some of it is even righteous anger. And when it’s time, God will work in our hearts to assuage the anger.
I have no pretty pictures this week. I have no links. I have God’s Word, prayer, and my community.
As Tapestry we know there are so many things that divide us. Now there seems to be a gulf. And we know that people talk about building bridges, and this is really important, though there are a lot of bridges to be rebuilt right now. And our work will continue to be to build and cross the bridges so that we may bring love and the hope found only at the foot of the cross and in the promise of the resurrection to our church community and in our neighborhood.
We will continue to seek the widow, the poor, the orphan, the immigrant. We will continue to invite and welcome them into our community. This is how we live out our call as brothers and sisters in Christ. One day at a time. And we pray we will be blessed in our doing as we humbly and meekly welcome the implanted word.