We just got an invitation to re-connect with our friends at Lab Shul in a Primal Prayer event. We attended it at Washington Square last year the day after the election. Before we screamed, we sang, we prayed, we cried, we hugged. The scream bubbled up out of our bodies, our grief, our surprise. It felt good, to let it out, let those feelings rise on the winds, rustle browning leaves, reach the heavens.
More than screaming, what healed me was being together in the beautiful diversity that is Manhattan. Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, people of no faith and people who had lost faith. Students, older people, clergy and lay leaders; a rainbow of ethnic, gender and sexual orientation diversity. One woman held her toddler close to her bosom, like she was a life raft. Maybe our children will save us from these swirling waters.
In the midst of more and more revelations of sexual misconduct by powerful men in the arts and in the media, one such man was elected to the highest office in our land. This shocks me to my core, still. A liar, a cheat, a sexual predator—our president. How desperate must so many have been for a change for this to happen. I feel like we are cast in a horrific reality show, and the premise of the show is: How far can POTUS push the envelope on decency and have our nation’s most vulnerable citizens survive?
While I was grieving last year, I posted an article on HuffPost’s religion page—“10 Spiritual Responses to the Election.” You can still find it there. Brokenhearted, still, and more resolute than ever that we must persistently resist this administration with everything we have; I am calling us once again to ask, what would love demand of us? In these precarious times, what does Revolutionary Love and Resistance look like as an organizing principle? We need answers, and here are 10 NEW things to help us get there:
1. Get with some people you love and hug them, and cry with them, and let them love you back.
2. Make Revolutionary Love a spiritual practice. Antiracism, LGBTQ advocacy, caring for the poor and marginalized, supporting women’s gifts, mentoring children, supporting common sense gun control, and demanding that everyone have enough healthcare and resources to thrive—this is the spiritual practice of Revolutionary Love.
3. Have some honest conversations with your friends and family members who voted for Trump. Ask them about how they see this administration now. Can we recruit some people to a worldview based in love and justice? We need to do that now!
5. Watch news from many perspectives; follow many viewpoints on social media. Let’s learn what we need to do on the way to 2018. The political is personal AND spiritual. Jesus was political, never forget.
6. Come to church often, and bring friends. Join a Bible study. Let’s learn about Revolutionary Love from the experts. Register for the Revolutionary Love Conference 2018.
7. Pray, eat, love, breathe, exercise, sleep, laugh, play, take sabbath. We need to re-create in order to survive.
8. Donate to Middle Church, your one-stop hub for love and justice.
9. Invite your friends into a book and/or movie group. Watch 13th or Crash. Read Ta-Nehisi Coates and Kelly Brown Douglas. Learn. Make strategies. Invite them to join our movement.
10. Call Congress, write your senators. Demand commonsense gun control laws, needed now more than ever in the wake of recent horrific shootings.
You give me such hope, Middle Family. You are resilient, loving, powerful, generous. You are revolutionary in your faithfulness, you are revolutionary in your love.