I sent this message to the members of our wonderful congregation in Manhattan the evening following the 2016 Presidential Election. Perhaps these words will be of some comfort as you process the election results, too.
Hello Forefront Family,
I wanted to share some post-election thoughts with you as you end your day.
In February of 1997, Harvard Professor Richard Alpert had a stroke.
Alpert, a deeply spiritual man who many admire, was the center of a 2001 documentary film chronicling his life and work, titled “Fierce Grace.”
In the film, he retells the story of the stroke and how he didn’t even think of God in that moment that would alter his life forever.
“There I was, ‘Mr. Spiritual,’ and in my own head I didn’t orient toward the spirit. It showed me I still have some work to do.”
I awoke this morning as many of us did- tired from being up late watching the votes come in on election night.
As I exited my apartment onto Madison Avenue, Midtown was eerily quiet (too quiet). The sun wasn’t shining. The buildings, the trees, and the sidewalks all seemed darker than usual. The people around me felt exhausted, and so did I. The adrenaline rush had come to an end.
If anything this morning was “bright” for me, it was knowing that the election season was finally over.
For months now, the people of our nation have been emotionally kicked, dragged, shoved, and whiplashed with all of the polling, punditry, and political rhetoric.
It made me think about Alpert, his stroke, and how he realized that in all of his achievements, he still had a lot of work to do on himself.
If our nation has learned anything from this tumultuous election, we’ve seen how far we have still have to go.
Gender, race, class, sexual orientation - I really thought we were further along on these important issues than we are, and it fills me with despair to see that we aren’t even close.
This election has uncovered a very long road ahead- a road, which just 24 hours ago was hidden from our sight, seeming as if it had an end somewhere on the horizon.
But it was just a mirage.
Though I am disappointed, I am also filled with hope, because I know that the road ahead is the perfect road for progressive followers of Jesus to be traveling on. In fact, roads like the one ahead are where we discover the very best versions of ourselves.
Now more than ever, we have a message that the world needs- a message of hope, compassion, justice, and love.
Light always shines in the darkest places- and we have a lot of light in us.
So let’s get to work, church. There is much to be done.
Thanks for taking this journey with us.
See you soon.