Now we wait…
We wait with our hearts on the line.
We wait with our lives and the lives of people we love on the line.
We wait with democracy on the line.
We wait with honesty, dignity, and kindness on the line.
But we wait with heartbreak. As CNN commentator Van Jones noted last night, we were seeking two victories in this election – a moral repudiation of this administration’s cruelty and a political victory in reclaiming the presidency.
Over the past 3.5 years, we watched babies being torn from their parent’s arms, black people being shot in their homes and choked on the streets, undocumented people being deported to countries they have never known, women being demeaned and tokenized by national leaders, our climate continues to warm and our neighbors dying from an out-of-control virus. Some of us hoped that we as a nation would rise with one voice to say “No more. We are better than this. We are braver, kinder and more decent than this.” That is not what we saw in the results from last night.
We may yet still pull out a political victory, but we lost the clear moral repudiation of the worst behaviors among us. This result leaves us heartbroken and clear-eyed about the work we must now do.
Yet all is not lost, so now we wait…
We know something about waiting. Every year, around this time, we enter into a season called Advent. Just before Christmas, Advent is the symbolic time when we wait with hope that God will once again be among us in new forms, new expressions, new birth.
Waiting is terrible. It’s uncomfortable. It feels like we are wandering in the wilderness. It’s an in-between space that leaves us anxious, unclear, ungrounded, suspended in time that seems to move at a snail’s pace. It leaves us with nothing to do but be, to simply exist in hopeful expectation that something is going to happen for our good, while we also battle the very real fear that what happens might lead to our demise. Waiting is terrible.
But waiting is also wonderful. It’s a fertile time when we consider what might be born, we focus on a future based on what really matters – connection, community and love. We watch what happens around us with hopeful anticipation that God is once again opening our broken world to new possibilities for healing.
We are not the first people to live in a broken world that feels like it’s teetering on the edge of hell. All of our sacred scriptures from every world religion tell stories of political authoritarianism generating movements of new prophets who preach messages of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness and generosity. These are the fruits of the Spirit. When you hear them, take heart and be reminded that God is with us, has always been with us and always will be.
Now we wait, watch and hope…
We wait, but we should not wait ideally. We, the white majority have failed our sisters and brothers of color – by waiting without action for too long already. While we wait we need to educate ourselves and those around us to the injustice that is real – I pray that I can step out in faith to influence my community for positive change, I pray that I can open my eyes to my own failings and ignorance and be part of the change that needs to happen so that 4 years from now we will have a moral victory.
Let us wait on the Lord like a waiter serves a hungry patron–with careful, skillful action!