Wednesday, November 9, 2016

"with kindness drawn…"

"You are more
than the choice that you've made, 
you are more than the sum 
of your past mistakes, 
you are more than the problems 
you create..."

This post is my prayer in keystrokes.

As I lay there in the early morning darkness, it was Tenth Avenue North's "You Are More," that comforted my aching heart.

I'd spent the whole evening "raging against the dying of the light." As state-after-state on the electoral map turned red, I felt like I was going into shock -- heavy tears fell on my now-wrinkled pantsuit, my hands shook.  I found myself hoping that I'd somehow fallen asleep and was trapped in a nightmare I'd soon wake from.

Yet, long after the man I swore to my daughters would never be their country's leader, was crowned President-elect, I was still weeping. Falling to my knees in the dark, I prayed for grace. I prayed for wisdom about how to help my daughters feel safe and hopeful about the future of the country they lived in. I prayed for a glimmer of light -- something to call me forward out of the pit of despair I was feeling.

The only thing that brought peace was trying to help others.  I listened, posted, answered texts and emails, and sought inspiration in Scripture and the wisdom of the wise.  

When I finally took my broken and tired heart to bed, the light was just breaking over Sleeping Indian. And as I lay there trying to quiet the demons that were trotting out every ugly word he'd said on the campaign trail, and every terrifying article I'd read touting his inexperience and lack of readiness, I thought I would be ill.

This was the man who considered it acceptable to sexually assault women, mock the disabled, displace refugee families, demean heroes, and deport our immigrant neighbors and friends. How could he possibly be the Commander-in-Chief of our military, the face of our nation, the heartbeat of our body collective.

That was when God broke through with a brief reminder: "with loving kindness have a drawn him," and asked me this one question? "Is this about what you think he is (or isn't) bringing to this office -- his qualifications, human history, tweets, mistakes, temperament, irrational behavior?  Or is this about what I am able -- through the appointment of him to this office as President -- to draw out from the infinite well of spiritual resources that exist in him as my image and likeness?"

I knew immediately what God was asking of me. How often had I been hired to do something that I knew I wasn't the candidate most humanly qualified or experienced for? More times than I can say. But it has always been this one Truth -  that the kingdom of God is within me - that has given me the courage and humility to accept those jobs, appointments, projects, and tasks without fear of failure and humiliation. 

 I have trusted that I am not bringing a limited (or even humanly grand) set of skills to a particular office, but that the office itself is drawing something new from within me.  Each opportunity is the pump by which God is going to draw from the infinite well of His goodness.  From which something fresh and new, that I need discover about myself as the infinite image and likeness of His infinite individuality, will pour forth.

I love a definition of the word "image" that was shared with me by a physicist and photographer friend: "Pixel for pixel, an image reflects the original. Not one pixel less, not one pixel more." Immediately I could begin to accept that even our president-elect -- a man who seemed so terribly flawed to me only moments before -- had within him the full measure of God's All-in-allness.  He was fully capable of discovering a fathomless well of goodness, intelligence, compassion, humanity, honesty, affection, faith, meekness, temperance, hope, discipline and grace within himself.

This office of president-elect is God's way of priming that pump.   There is a measureless well goodness waiting to be plumbed in him.  I could expect to see this even in this man who, to me, had been a most flawed candidate. Just like turning a spigot to draw a bath, Love was drawing out the best in all of us -- individually and collectively.

I can't help but think of King David, the beloved Psalmist, who was also a flawed character. And yet, God uses him, and his path as a leader,  to show us the value of mercy, the power of humility, the design of Love -- which is to reform and to heal.

Or what about dear devoted -- but confused and conflicted -- Peter. So willing, but so ambitious.  This disciple was distracted for so long by the success of others, vacillating in his allegiance, scolded for his competitiveness, and yet he becomes one of the most prolific early Christian healers.

Or me... 

We are all, as Tenth Avenue North sings, more than the sum of our past mistakes.  We are constantly being remade, renewed, reformed in the likeness of the original -- divine Love.

So today, I am going to stand on my spiritual tiptoes, eager to see what God -- through the offices of president-elect, citizen,  conceding nominee -- will drawn from that deep well of impartial and universal good within each of us. What am I willing to bear witness to? Will I celebrate the first sputterings of grace, applaud the humility which necessarily flow from the demands of leadership. Am I be willing to let something new rise from within me as I accept my office as citizen under the leadership of this new president.

Mary Baker Eddy assures us in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures:

"Our disappointments
and ceaseless woes,
turn us like tired children
to the arms of divine Love,
then we begin to learn Life
in divine Science."

I was very disappointed.  I felt like we could be facing a ceaseless series of personal and societal, local and global woes. But here's the deal. I want to learn Life in divine Science. I want to learn more about Life as Love. So if this is the beginning -- count me in.

This afternoon, my post-election prayer is a simple one -- one I pray daily:

"Thy kingdom come,
let the reign of divine
Truth, Life, and Love
be established in me,
and rule out of me all sin,
and may Thy Word
enrich the affections
of all mankind
and govern them."

This Daily Prayer by Mary Baker Eddy brings me great peace. I know that I can no longer afford the luxury of continuing to see anyone as separated from God's allness (the claim of sin) and that I must trust that His Word is enriching our president-elect's affections for good -- and governing them. The government is upon His shoulders, not his. He will reign with loving kindness and with mercy -- I trust Him.

offered with Love,


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