Hell in the Hallway

(August 14, 2017)

It’s Monday morning following a disheartening, fearful, horrific weekend in Charlottesville, VA that has tested the spirit and faith of many. It’s a Monday morning when several people have attended local rallies in support of diversity, tolerance and the best of what we, as a nation, have to offer.

I’m hearing questions that border on hopelessness:  How did this happen? Where’s God in all of this? And sometimes there’s cynicism as well: I knew the American Dream was all a hoax. I never believed it anyway.

As the mother of children of color … as a member of the LGBTQ community …  I come at these events maybe a little differently than some. I know the fear of violence aimed at me and my family, my community, my body. But I also know the faith and the belief in the future and “the better way possible” that caused some of the anti-haters to get out and march in Charlottesville.

First and foremost, I ask God’s blessings on all who are broken and marginalized. I ask God’s forgiveness on all who perpetuate the hatred  and division that has always been used to separate us from our Oneness. And I ask the Holy Spirit, the Great Comforter, to be with (and remain with) the family and friends of Heather Heyer, the woman killed in the attack on Friday.

I visited a neighboring church yesterday as a regular pew-sitter (I’m on vacation from the pulpit right now) and as I was leaving, a woman spoke to me about her concern for our country and the upset we’re all experiencing. I told her that I really believe that all of these awful ideas (racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia … everything that separates us from each other) are surfacing right now because the Light is getting brighter. (Just think back to the number of people who marched around the world the day after our last inauguration day!) More and more people are getting involved and are standing up for what’s good and right and decent. More and more people are embracing multi-culturalism and principles of fairness. The Light is shining brighter. And when that happens, the cockroaches begin to scurry about. They have been hiding in the shadows and the places of shadow are diminishing. Their first response? Attach the light.

It’s what the world did with Jesus … and with every movement of love and inclusion.

I have been especially moved — touched deeply really — by the stories of the clergy in Charlottesville. For obvious reasons, right? That could have been … and, truth be told, I think should have been … me! It’s hard to not be able to physically stand alongside my brothers and sisters — many of them wearing their stoles or other symbols of their position in the body of Christ. I have internalized their fear AND their resolve. I am so incredibly PROUD to be part of such a group right now. I contrast that with the clergy in Nazi Germany who succumbed to the threats and “logic” of the Third Reich. People were beating up the clergy in Charlottesville and while the haters  were screaming about “killing Jews” and “hanging Jew-lovers,”  MY people … MY TRIBE … chanted, “Love has already won! Love has already won! Love has already won!”

That is the powerful reality of the KOG — the Kingdom of God. It is in the here and now and not just in the future.

This morning … just a few minutes ago … my friend sent me the following link. It is a letter to Hillary from her pastor, written the day after  the election. I hope you’ll read it. It reminds us of the hope that is to come. It reminds us that Jesus knew there would be Easter Sunday even as he was dying. It reminds us of where I think we all are right now … somewhere between Good Friday and Easter Sunrise.

I’ll leave you with a line from the letter: “God doesn’t close one door without opening another, but it can be hell in the hallway.”

Hell in the hallway.

I think that’s where we are.

And we just have to pay attention to the next door that’s opening, knowing that God will not leave us in the hallway. Not ever.

Here’s the article:   CLICK HERE

Keep the faith, everybody ..

Pastor Deb