by Senior Minister Rev. David A. Miller.
I am struggling as much as anyone to put into perspective the ramifications of the election and its aftermath. Last night, I took a moment to watch an old episode of “Band of Brothers,” the one where they discover the concentration camp. It is a heart-wrenching episode, and it made me think about some of the speculation around the ramifications of this election. I’m hearing everything from “give them a chance” to “this is the end of the world as we know it.” I know we will continue to process this.
I also know that the world has seen and survived ideologies of fear and hate before. At times it is hard for us to remember the pain the world has seen, and sometimes in the darkness it is hard to see the way into the light. In the last few days, I am seeing discussions on the left side of the political spectrum that feel like judgments about the right and wrong ways to respond to extreme right-wing ideologies. As we are finding our collective way, I feel like there will be many ways – mostly imperfect and yet necessary. To me, this isn’t about just politics, it is a movement for the soul of a nation, an evolution of an idea that has never been realized, yet continues to call us forward. How we respond to this will help define us for perhaps generations to come. There will be calls for all sorts of dissent. There will be calls to protest. There will be anger, frustration and resentment. But people must also see a vision of the possible to know what they are called to do. We can’t just protest, we must be a voice, we must model, we must not demand some sort of ideological purity, we must help build, we must not only critique, but also offer an alternative vision of a collective future.
As I watch TV, each new Cabinet appointment makes my despair and anger rise. This is where my faith must come into play. We must never be passive in building a better future. Our efforts are vital, and each of us will have to decide which route we will take and where our energies will go in order to build the world for which we dream. I am still working on that, and last night, as I watched this warning from the past, I felt certain that I will need to stay vigilant about how I use my energies to deal with the struggle that we face and how I will not give in to the forces of bitterness that could overtake me if I let them.
Finding hope in such a hard time is difficult, but there is so much work to do. That work must be fueled by hope. Fueling anything with despair never lasts. So, look for that hope, find it, let it inspire you. It is there. We need each other and we have such enormous energy, love and creativity. That gives me hope and bolsters me for the struggle to come.