Another week of living, breathing, grieving, working, and loving amidst a pandemic has passed and weeks of the same loom before us. In the midst of trying to navigate life with closed parameters, we witness more and more accounts of our fellow citizens being murdered and maimed, white supremacists wielding weapons with the intent to kill protestors, and a president who encourages hateful division as his best method of retaining power.
How are you managing? How is your heart? Mine is awash with grief and wrestling each day not to descend into despair. It is from this place I am urging us not to succumb. Despair sucks the life out of our ability to hope and paralyzes our ability to act. So I write not to deny the despair you might be feeling but to beg you not to surrender to it.
Despair is manifesting in a couple of ways (at least). Some are striking out blindly like a cornered animal. Let us, instead, calculate our acts of resistance to achieve the better outcome and make the necessary change we seek. Still impassioned, but result oriented or, as Michelle Obama said, ” When they go low, we go high.” The other way despair manifests is in giving up. We cannot allow ourselves to believe that nothing we do will make a difference. This is the kind of despair I am hearing from so many.
For those of us mired in despair: we cannot surrender to it. If we do, we are lost.
So today I invite you to the difficult task of refusing to give into despair. Challenge it by believing that each of our small acts make a difference. Challenge it by doing necessary and important menial work: get it involved with voter registration, become a poll worker, participate in texting, phone banking, or letter writing campaigns urging people to register and vote.
Whatever you do, do something. We cannot let despair be what defeats us.
Dear friends, I promised to offer hope in the weeks leading up to this most important election.
Today, this is the hope I offer:
You choosing to fight feelings of despair.
You refusing to descend to the shadow side of resistance.
You finding the small acts that make a difference.
You committing to vote and making a plan.
You standing shoulder to shoulder with all who seek justice.
You are the hope.
Blessings and peace,
p.s. the song on a loop in my head today:
I will hold the Christ light for you
in the night time of your fear
I will hold my hand out to you
speak the peace you long to hear: