Now More Than Ever, LOVE
By Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis
I was in denial. I did not realize it, but I was. Friends gathered. We watched. We ate, we drank wine, we laughed. We watched that map. It was changing and they were worried and I was not. I was not worried; I was clear. Some were frightened. I was not. I had felt the fear, been through the fear, had been frightened about the hate-speech, the threats of deportations and wall-building, and the potential ban on my Muslim siblings. I was frightened of the blatant racism and xenophobia, feeling that my Black life could matter even less in the future than it does now. I had felt the fear and the loathing about the misogyny, the predatory behavior. I had felt the fear and trusted we would not, could not elect such a one, even in the face of private servers and legacy presidencies.
Now, I was ready, brave, and expecting the inevitable election of the first woman president of these United States of America.
I was in denial. At 2:30a, finally sleepy, I dreamt of a celebration.
And some are celebrating. Americans whose hearts feel this is the one they have been waiting for. To disrupt politics as usual. To create jobs, and to strengthen the borders and to make America great again.
I was in denial.
Maybe you were, too. Maybe you were thinking, even though we have seen so very much hatred and violence and sadness in this past year that things were not that bad, not this bad. But friends, things are off the rail, off the chain. Our people are hurting. And this hurts.
Donald J. Trump will be the 45th President of the United States of America.
I am shocked. I am sadder than I can describe. My heart is broken. I have been on the phone with so many people in my congregation and in meetings with my staff, and the shared sorrow is devastating.
We are grieving.
And, even as we grieve, we need to be clear: The only thing to heal what is broken in these United States is love. Revolutionary Love. We need a love revolution, people; a spiritual revolution. We need to dig deep and think right now: What would LOVE do? What would Love say? How would Love organize? How would Love look for allies? How would Love behave toward those who didn’t vote like us? We need a love revolution!
Love can do powerful things. Here are ten ideas:
- Get with some people you love and hug them, and cry with them, and let them love you back.
- Drink water, eat well, move your butt, get some sleep—take care of you.
- Have some honest conversations—with folk who think like you AND with your family member who voted for Trump. Ask them about their dreams and listen carefully. This is where our revolution will need to find traction.
- Imagine that you are building a bridge. With whom do you need to build it? Bridges are desperately needed right now! One way to start building that bridge is to pray. For Mr. Trump.
- Whatever your spiritual practices are, practice them. I am praying for you right now, and I am going to sing in a minute, just to keep it flowing.
- Go see the movie Loving. It opens this weekend and will help you cry some of the tears that are inside you. They need to flow.
- Come to Middle Church on Thursday, November 10 at 6:30p for a time of singing and loving and reflection and emergency hugs.
- Come to worship at Middle Church on Sunday, November 13 at 11:15a EST for worship. If you can’t come in person, join us on livestream (on our homepage at www.middlechurch.org). We will lament, sing, and pray. We will have a conversation right after worship about our feelings and how we can be used by God to make our nation a more perfect union. Both choirs are singing, I am preaching, and we are baptizing two amazing babies.
- Come to Mosaic: a Concert for Unity on Wednesday, November 16, at 6:30p. Fierce music will create beauty from the places our world feels broken. And donations will benefit homeless LGBT youth, because we will continue to work for freedom for all.
- Remember that you were created in love, by a God of love. Remember that you ARE love and know that we can—with our love—make it better.
This is a hot-mess time, friends, a time for which love is the only antidote. Now more than ever, love is the only way forward.
Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis is a Senior Fellow at Auburn Seminary.