Let’s start with some professional assurance that if you feel like you can’t tell if you – or the world – is coming or going and can’t begin to figure out what to do next, you’re in exactly the real place!
Here’s a bit of a glimpse of the real world known as mine…
My sister’s grandson was born and everyone is anxiously awaiting big decisions from doctors tomorrow which almost certainly include major heart surgery, now.
I am beyond grateful for all of your prayers and support and so is my family.
On the other hand, there are some changes coming in the local part of my world. I have a new “mechanical” helper almost up to speed for sending blog emails and, well, other things I don’t quite understand yet. Fortunately, transition is not a new concept around here and you are nothing if not flexible!
Our house needs a new roof. This has turned into quite the project. The philosophical decisions have been made which didn’t change the fact that, bright and early this morning, there was a guy with a ladder outside our bedroom window which I take to mean that there is progress on the practical stuff, too.
Seriously contemplating a brief excursion to Camp for the fuzzy kids!
Then, of course, there’s the news. (Along with what passes for news these days.) It is, perhaps, fortunate that I’ve had a couple of days to contemplate the need for words in this moment. The number of index cards in my recycling basket will attest to the pondering!
Let’s rewind a couple of days to Friday. I accepted an invitation to a Zoom-ish sort of meeting at which the speakers were former President Barack Obama, the democratic nominee for Vice President, Sen. Kamala Harris, and an actor who had previously escaped my notice, Michael B. Jordan.
As US politics go, especially these days, it was an intelligent conversation marked by decency and grace.
President Obama borrowed the Biden/Harris slogan and proclaimed:
Yes, we can restore the soul of the nation.
I decided to hang out and see what came next. (For you who are reading along, this was all happening before the announcement was made of the notable new cases of Covid.)
We mused a LOT about voting. Sen. Harris shared that her vote by mail ballot had arrived and that she intended to vote, sitting at her kitchen table, this weekend. President Obama said he also votes by mail as the Secret Service deal tends to slow things down for others at polling places.
That was when it hit me. This is a process – vs – outcome thing. We, you and I, can’t control the outcome of this election, which President Obama claimed will impact every issue we care about. (I’m with him!)
We can’t control the outcome.
We can control our part of the process. We can VOTE. (Well, most of us, which is one of those issues which will be impacted by those of us who can!)
We can help others make plans to vote. Some of us can learn to be poll workers or give people rides.
We can put the emphasis on the things we can do and give less air time to the things we can’t control. (This is me, talking to myself!)
And we can remember, as Sen. Harris reminded us, that we stand on the shoulders of the ancestors… John Lewis, the suffragettes, our grandmothers… those who stood in the face of powerful people who were trying to make it difficult to vote because, when we vote, things change.
We can even, like Michael B. Jordan, choose to appear in very public places wearing sweatshirts reading, Could have been Travon, or whatever feels personal to you.
So, let us, indeed, make a plan to use our Super Powers. To get done what we can get done and make room for doing more.
For now, the outcome I want, and I’m guessing many of you want, is, in fact, to restore the soul of the nation.
But today, and tomorrow, and all the tomorrows it takes, I’m doing process.
Sign a petition. Talk to three friends about their plans to vote. Put a sign in your yard. Make a contribution. DO what you can. And one more request by President Obama… Please, when you talk with people about voting, make sure they understand how crucial it is to vote ALL THE WAY DOWN THE BALLOT!!!
ps… there’s a passage from one of my sacred texts that I really feel compelled to share because I find it so sustaining in the moment. And I’d love to know what sustains you. If there’s a similar passage for you, please scroll down and comment, or email me at email@example.com
They have told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your Creator?
pps… the painting is “In the Beginning”! She volunteered!