Let me be honest for a moment, my soul is weary and I’m not in a great place. As could be expected, 2021 is already producing a shit show of emotions for many people. I’ve come to realize that the events in D.C. on January 6 have affected me more than I originally anticipated they would. It’s important to me that people understand that when something like the domestic terrorist invasion on our US Capitol Building takes place, people in communities who are marginalized simply for being who they are as a child of God, view those acts through a different lens. We recognize that the folks who are willing to do that are the same ones who would be willing to harm us while going about our everyday routines of life. Though, my soul has certainly been weary at times since then, especially as someone who is in the LGBTQIA+ community, I haven’t felt like this since the Orlando Nightclub massacre. Back then, I just didn’t have an outlet for expressing so since I was not yet out to the world in 2016.
Trust me, I want to be able to simply embrace the call for unity and a way forward. I can’t do so though without acknowledging that the division in this country is deeper than just a difference of opinion. When who you are is not only subject to debate but outright hate from groups of people, a call for unity and peace is met with deep distrust.
I have friends and family who I love and care about but who support a political party with a platform which promotes values that are harmful to people like me. A platform that emboldens behaviors in folks that are acted out in harmful ways towards people like me. Friends and family who seem to follow rather than honor the worth of all people and help change the culture within. I don’t see how this is in any way reflective of the teachings of Christ. My soul is weary and my heart aches because I do care deeply about many of these folks. They are an important part of the relational fabric woven within my soul and throughout my community.
I want unity. I want peace. Unity and peace are not possible though if marginalized groups of people have to feel unsafe for it to occur. Unity and peace are not possible if we have to try and hide parts of who we are to make you more comfortable with being around us. We can respectfully disagree and try to find common space on many things in our society but human dignity and worth is not one of them.
A swift, fierce river separates two sides. If you find yourself in the middle of the bridge because it is safe and you are not comfortable engaging in the hard conversations for fear of alienating people you love on one side while others who you also love continue to stand in harm’s way on the other side, the bridge is crumbling underneath, and the water will continue to drown the moral fabric of humanity. You are not helping anyone, if this is where you find yourself. If you are willing to cross the bridge and build more of them though, thank you. We need bridge builders more than ever before. When it comes to human worth though, we can’t simply meet in the middle of the bridge. If peace and unity is truly desired, we have to do the hard work that is necessary to cross it. We have to listen and then respond.
I pray for peace. I pray for unity. I know many of us do. Often times though, prayer without action lacks authenticity and is just words muttered rather than heart and soul engaged.
A weary traveler who is tired today.