My wonderful co-worker and friend, Tina, told me that her grandmother had a specific remedy to heartache: “You get twenty-four hours, and then you gotta get up and move on.”
Certainly not advice that works in every instance, but here I think it is perfect.
I’m afraid. And I’m allowing it today. Trans* friends. Friends of color, particularly Black men. Muslims. Women, specifically women of color and those who have been subject to sexual violence. Friends with physical and mental disorders or ailments (fill in with any other apt descriptor to encapsulate a condition; I mean no insult with inexact language). All of them. And More. Their posts are filling my FB newsfeed. I’m frantically drinking fluids to keep up with the crying. Marines posting videos with tears streaming down their faces asking what they are going to tell their daughters when they wake up? Queer-identified individuals and couples wondering if their marriages, their adoptions, their investments, their entire lives will soon be dismantled and made illegal. Post after post after post until I’m sobbing and can’t catch my breath.
I’m afraid for them.
I’m afraid for me. I am much less exposed than are others, but as a person with mental illness who relies very heavily on the Affordable Care Act, I am terrified about what is going to happen on January 20th when President…I can’t write it yet. I just can’t write it. What will happen when That Man makes good on his vindictive promises and repeals the ACA? What happens if I have another breakdown? What happens if I can’t get the Beloved Community Project off the ground, if I can’t finally find a job that will give me insurance, if I can’t afford to live in the place where I feel God has called me? What if we become targets, as we are literally surrounded by those who voted for a wholly unqualified person?
I fear for the whole country, not just the half that voted against him. What happens when Der Fuhrer begins targeting the press, and initiates lawsuits against the women who revealed his pattern of violence and abuse? What happens when a tweet sets him off and he sends military personnel into situations because he wants to exact tenfold revenge, as he has already revealed is his modus operandi? This is not a man who is going to rise to the height of the office; nay, he will drag it into the very swamp he promised to drain.
While I do have ultimate faith and comfort in God, and believe me I am going to be praying and reading Scripture a great deal today, that comfort means exactly zero to most of the people around me. I don’t believe that God allows this to happen, just as I don’t believe that God caused this to happen. But now is not the time for theology (I know, right? Who thought I would ever say something so blasphemous?); starting tomorrow, I will most certainly be reflecting on this theologically. I have a congregation to serve; a service to arrange that will help, in some way, process these emotions and to see a loving path forward that includes action and commitment.
My faith is a comfort I can use to get myself back together so I can redouble my efforts to help be part of a positive response to this catastrophic occurrence.
I’ve got 24 hours. Then it is time to stop feeling sorry for myself and get the fuck to work.