Someone posted a cartoon recently that said, “Welcome to Hell,” and showed a little character choosing between two boxes: Keeping Informed With the News, and Protecting One’s Mental Health. Yep. Welcome to hell, because both of those are necessary, and neither is something we can afford to pass up.
I’ve been grateful before that our congregation has a community service arm which feeds about five hundred families a month, but I feel like I’ve always been too focused on me/mine in terms of community. Today, we are grateful to be able to send coveralls and gas masks to Standing Rock, to fund the Flint Water project, to donate to the ACLU and the Southern Poverty Law Center. But, I’m now trying to think what I can do besides send small amounts of money.
The phrase “social justice” has been bandied about religious groups for years, but it wasn’t until we were involved with USF when Tech Boy was doing his first master’s degree that we really understood what it is to have a religious organization involved in protests and getting arrested. (The university president, at the time, was arrested. It was one of several times for him.) I’m grateful – in a roundabout way, because I would really rather that these last two months wouldn’t have gone the way they have – for the push that a lot of religious groups are getting, to coalesce what they believed were amorphous beliefs, and to put their actions where their mouths have always led them. I’m grateful for the painful, skeptical, horrible process of values formation and clarification that this is having on all of us.