Today, I did not paint.
I sat in my magic chair, like the experienced orthopedic patient I am, with my feet up, catching up on emails, knitting, and checking things off the list for an upcoming workshop.
I did have an idea for how to make the fine white line sketching required for a giraffe whose spirit appeared in one of my Works-In-Progress go more smoothly. And I went so far as to check it out on my practice canvas, which I can do in my lap. I’m way ahead for real painting.
All the while, I was waiting for tomorrow morning’s appointment with my old friend, the ortho doc. I need to know what’s going on! Fortunately, I can pray while I knit even, when paint prayers are a challenge.
Then, at 8:30 this evening, I got on the line with about 5,ooo other volunteers to listen to an update on the Bernie Sanders campaign.
If you’ve been hanging around for a while, you already know I have a preference. Before I tell you a bit about what I noticed on the call, please hear me say that I know you probably have a preference, too, and it may not be the same as mine.
That’s okay. Important things need considered conversation and this is a place where that can happen. It’s also a pretty good model for our kids and grandkids!
There were many things running through my head as I listened in on the call.
One of them was an old social “rule” that probably came from Dear Abby or Miss Manners. Or, perhaps, the Junior League. There were two versions, as I recall.
Either, The three things not to be discussed in polite company are money, sex, and religion.
Or, The three things not to be discussed in polite company are money, sex, and politics.
I’ll leave it to you to recall which version you learned!
And then I remembered a Sunday morning, twenty-some years ago, when I broke all of those “rules” in a single sermon! It was breast cancer awareness month, stewardship season, and the politics of open ordination in many denominations were heating up.
Not sure it was my most popular sermon ever, but it was what the text brought to my heart.
Tonight was kind of like that.
Senator Sanders joined the call toward the end and he mentioned some recent political writers who have gone on record as saying that the huge Sanders grass-roots organization “was talking to no one.”
Bernie’s rather pointed question was, “Who do they mean when they say no one?”
Suddenly, I was sitting, not in my magic chair, but in a Hebrew exegesis class in seminary. Walter Brueggemann, in his voice that reminds me a lot of Bernie’s voice, was teaching us to consider approaching a scriptural text wondering, “Whose voice is missing?”
I think if I could ask him, Senator Sanders would say that the vast majority of the voices of the 99% in this country, and of the next generations, are missing in the politics of the current administration.
And he’s trying to do something about that. I helped in 2016. I’m helping again now.
Whose voices in our world seem missing to you? For that matter, whose images seem missing to you? Are those questions that resonate with your heart? And what will you do with those questions, wherever you live?
I’m not going to ask you to vote for my guy. I’m just going to ask you, if you’re eligible to vote in the USA, to ponder the questions that resonate with your heart. Go online and check your registration status, just to be sure. Check out Stacey Abrams and the Fair Fight campaign to protect voter rights. And, when your turn comes, VOTE with all your heart and hope.
The Iowa Caucus is February 3, 2020. The time to get involved is now!
And, if the whole process feels as complex and incomprehensible to you as it sometimes does to me, watch some of The West Wing. It’s the best Civics lesson I know!