Oh! May the God of green hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope!~Romans, 15:13, The Message Bible
“The last three months have been the longest I’ve ever seen!”
Let us recap:
In March, we began social-distancing and quarantining in order to flatten the curve – in service to those doctors, nurses, healthcare workers, and first responders on the frontlines. Businesses, non-profits, restaurants, schools. churches and more temporarily closed their doors. People all over the country began to lose jobs – almost 20 million in two weeks. Unemployment claims began pouring in.
April highlights included confirmed cases of Covid-19 surpassing 3 million worldwide – with the U.S. having 1/3 of all new cases. By April 28 death toll in U.S. of 58,365 surpasses that of US soldiers killed in Vietnam War – with brown and black people disproportionately affected by the virus. John Krasinski debuts Some Good News, a feel good, cryfest youtube show adored by millions while we stayed home in quarantine. US Department of Defense releases three declassified videos of possible UFOs from 2004 and 2015. People in quarantine begin to push back, rushing out to protest in bully tactics, armed and threatening.
And May…oh, May…how to count the pain you’ve brought last month. A white father and son were arrested for the murder of Ahmaud Arbery (a black man) in Brunswick, Georgia, after the video of how Arbery was chased and killed down. 20 more million people out of work, turning to the government for assistance (myself one of them). I see an almost violent confrontation at Walmart with a man demanding entrance during senior time at 6:30 am. A Target employee gets an arm broken when two men attack after being told to wear masks. More spikes in Covid-19 as more people strike out in resistance to stay at home orders. John Krasinki sells Some Good News to Viacom for millions of dollars, cashing in at our expense.
And let me write about another murder of another black man (this time George Floyd) by a police officer in Minnesota. “It’s a difficult time to be black in America,” says an African-American friend of mine when I ask “How are you?” last weekend. Protests and riots erupt all over the U.S. this past week.
And let’s not forget about the cicadas! According to scientists from Virginia Tech, millions of cicadas in a once in 17-year event are about to emerge from the earth – posing crop danger and noise issues.
Of course, there will be cicadas, of course.
Plus, those of us who are unlucky to live alone during these days haven’t had a real solid hug from anyone in three months. But hey…who’s counting right?
Will June bring some hope?
“Where’s the hope? It feels like a dream?”
It’s so hard to sleep these days. I toss and turn and I wonder, cry, pray, and dream of more hopeful days. And I find it difficult to turn to scripture right now – while I struggle with the betrayal from and loss of the church to which I gave 15 years of faithful service. But this morning, as I write, I do turn to Romans and the words of Paul, and what I read is not really a testimony that’s truth based, but rather simply a “dream” – a dream that we can be filled with joy and peace. A dream to be filled with the life-giving energy that is hope. I don’t feel hope right now. I’m so fucking tired and afraid and drained. Hope is very elusive right now. So far away from the reality that is my world.
I don’t feel hope, so I’m dreaming it right now. Dreaming is all I can do, and, dear friends, I’m dreaming it with every little bit of fiber that still kicks in my heart and mind. I’m dreaming it with every tense and angry muscle in my body. I’m dreaming it with every stroke of my keyboard at my fingertips. I’m dreaming it through the fear, the betrayal, the tears, the news, the murders, the anger, the hatred, the ridiculous, and the pain that so many of us are feeling right now. I am simply fucking dreaming it.
The activist and feminist Gloria Steinem once said
“Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.”
So I’m dreaming. And I’m planting seeds, and I’m planning. I’m starting a business soon. I am taking all the steps toward getting that business off the ground.
I am dreaming. And I’m planning – and I am transforming myself – in every way possible to be that person who can speak the truth I now know: that our world, our institutions, our schools, our churches, and our souls need new dreams. We need a new reality. We need new systems and we need new leadership to emerge out of all the cluster-fuck of a life we’ve been living the past three months. We need leadership that’s creative, innovative, and collaborative in this dangerous and gritty world. And maybe, through hard work and determination and so much dreaming, maybe then, I will start feeling the hope.
So…dear ones, come dream with me! Come plan with me! Let’s shape a new reality so that hope itself isn’t just a dream. Let’s create a world together, where that life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope for each and every one of us.
May it be so…
A note: Why, from here on out, I am grounding my work in anti-racism:
True leadership to change the world cannot happen in our country and in our world without leaders committing to anti-racism. If we desire a better world and better leadership, we can’t get there without a firm realization that who we are and take for granted as white people is all built upon labor of our brown and black brothers and sisters.
Systemic racism resides at the heart of all our industry, entertainment, religious, financial, political structures. We cannot bring real change into our world without committing to the work of anti-racism.
Let us be bold, brave, courage leaders and TOGETHER, let’s take a stand and action against overt and covert white supremacy.
~~Friends, as always, I hold you all in deep prayer. Do not let yourselves become isolated during this time. Reach out and continue to connect as much as you can. Fear, anxiety and isolation can take it’s toll. Stay strong. Stay connected. Need prayers – drop me a line.~~
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