Last week was a LONG week. At least for me. I was nervous all day Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday, I despaired and wrote a long confession of all the ways this country has sinned and continues to participate in systems of oppression. I was not optimistic. I couldn’t concentrate.
Friday came, and I got some distraction, although had an enlivened discussion about the electoral college versus the popular vote and families on welfare. I enjoy hard conversations with friends, but they can be exhausting. I speak all of this as a person of privilege.
I struggle with depression, and the last four years have felt like a chronic condition. Then I was mowing the grass on Saturday and heard the news. I had to keep mowing, but tears ran down my face. I felt like I could finally take a deep breath and actually exhale, knowing there are others whose breaths have been stolen.
Now, I never decorate for Christmas before Thanksgiving. However, it was a beautiful day in the Indy-area. 70 degrees and sunny. Kyle went to the store and bought lights to line the outside of our house, which we have never done. He got on the roof and set them up. I asked him to put up an American flag. Again, new for me.
Throughout the day, I continued to celebrate. I cried even more at the possibilities, the hope.
One of my friends said that last week felt like leading up to Christmas. The preparation, the anticipation, and then the celebration. (And for others, the letdown.)
After speeches were given, and the evening was over, I realized that this is just the beginning. This is the spark of change, yet the struggle remains.
The Work of Christmas by Howard Thurman came to mind. I know we are not even to Thanksgiving but think this is appropriate for our time.
“When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among others,
To make music in the heart.”
We come from different backgrounds and beliefs, experiences and effort. Some of us have more work to do than others. Although we can turn on Christmas lights with a switch, we cannot just click off the switch of racism, sexism, ethnocentrism, and all the isms of the world. Yet, we can turn slowly shine a light, unveiling what has been done, what is, and what shall be when the kin-dom of God reigns on earth.
May we know the hope of healing. May it begin with us.
Former international fashion model Rev. Sarah Renfro seeks to boost the body image of young women by educating them on the myths of media and focusing on divine within. She also preaches and teaches about marriage and divorce, motherhood, ministry, and mental illness.