This morning felt like waking up the day after a loved one had died.
I feel like I’ve cycled through every stage of the grief model except for the acceptance stage. How do you look at images like these and accept them?
I am not there yet.
I feel repulsed. Indignant. Discouraged. Embarrassed. Disappointed. I found myself yelling last night and then my eyes filling with tears. I lost my appetite and felt furious at people who saw what was happening last night and continued to perpetrate lies. I asked what comes next and couldn’t find an answer.
It all felt like too much.
It all feels like too much.
Four people died last night. They found two suspected bombs at RNC and DNC offices. A man walked freely with a confederate flag through a building where our country’s leaders debate the laws and legislature that shapes our country’s future. A friend sent me a video from when he was walking a few blocks away from the Capitol—the audio sent a chill down my spin. The yelling sounded hellish.
It was a dark day in America.
It is a dark day in America.
* * *
Last night, I wrote a post about the power of words.
“Words matter. Today and so many days before this have proven it over and over again. Far too many have chosen to be selective about the words spoken by our president, asserting his innocence when those who proudly wear his red hat commit racist, xenophobic, sexist, and terrorizing acts of violence. His words are not to be dismissed. I hope what you’ve heard and witnessed today has greatly disturbed you. The words and the ways of Trump are not the way: for America, for you, for the world, for the church.
Loyalty or even passivity to him and his system will do no good; simply look at his tweets today and you’ll witness the ease by which he dismisses his own Vice President, a loyal ally until he somehow mustered enough courage to say “enough” to Trump’s final attempt to use words to get his way. I know some people reading this will take offense at my words, and assert that Democrats use words for evil, too. You’re not wrong; humans do use words for evil. But when I listened to the words of our president elect, condemning the violence and calling for a better way, it was obvious to me that our next president will not speak with a tongue of fire that seeks to burn everything that doesn’t serve him to the ground.
I hope this is a moment when America may rise from the ashes. But today I am greatly grieved. Look at the way we have chosen.”
Today, I began with reading some words from Scripture. It seemed like the only thing I was sure of what to do today. I do not know how much I should be listening to words in the news or on Twitter…is it all too much right now to take in?
I hope our leaders find words of truth to speak today and tomorrow and the day after that. I hope they will find the words to say that enough is enough, to confess and repent of the sins of this country and invite us to do the same. As my friend Eric reflected in his blog post this morning, “We need to continue examining our own hearts. Bernice King suggested, ‘We need to stop saying ‘This is not who we are’ in ‘America.’ Indeed, this is not who and what the United States should be, but denial won’t make the injustices and inhumane ideologies less so. We can’t change without truth.’”
This is a morning of mourning. Today the truth about the darkness in our country is hard to accept. I find it hard to be here today. But I start with this thought: God is here. He grieves, too. I look to him and his unchanging truth on this day, and the ones to come.