Beatitudes for the Week After the Election

electionbeatitude

Blessed are the poor in spirit, those who stood in the voting booth with a sense of trepidation and sadness and did their broken best to choose well.

Blessed are those whose faith in government and in its process has been shattered, the ones who are picking up the pieces.

Blessed are silent ones who voted for this president in spite of what he has said and done rather than because of it, who felt like they did not have a better choice, and who now feel a threadbare kind of poverty…even in this “victory.”

Blessed are those who feel stripped down to their barest places. For here in the wreckage is the kingdom of heaven, and it was never supposed to be an empire at all.

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Blessed are those who mourn, who feel a strangled sob rise up in their throats when they put their children onto the school bus, when they send them into this beautiful, mutilated world, where their classmates will repeat election sound bytes and racist slurs as if they understand them.

Blessed are those who mourn for the unborn; blessed are those who mourn for their mothers. Blessed are those who mourn for the laid-off working class; blessed are those who mourn the laid-low refugees.

Blessed are those who mourn for police officer who has taken a life; blessed are those who mourn for the life who has been taken…

But blessed, most of all, are those who allow themselves to mourn for all of this at once, who feel the sharp stab of the complexity, who choose to live in the prickling space of this tension and let it all the way in.

Blessed are those that offer their lament in worship, those who are still singing their broken hallelujahs. Blessed are those who do not rush up to the surface where things are easier but stay low, low, low in their deepest hearts, feeling all of their feelings out loud, letting God into their cracked and tender hearts.

They will be comforted.

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Blessed are the meek – which is to say the ones who see injustice and do not passively submit to its tyrannical weight. Blessed are those who wake up in the morning and choose strength deliberately in the face of their weakness, who choose an active kind of hope in a climate of despair. Who put on their shoes and walk out into the searing light of the day anyway.

Blessed are the ones who scrub swastikas off of schools. Blessed are those who show up every morning to open the soup kitchen at dawn. Blessed are the teachers who sit the small ones in a circle on the carpet and tend to their fears. Blessed are the choir directors and the social workers and the poets. Blessed are those who keep haunting their representative’s phone lines, demanding kindness, demanding love.

Blessed are the ones who show up to church early to make the coffee and to welcome people in. Blessed are the pastors who open up space and invite the brokenhearted into the hard, beautiful work of reconciliation.

For those who let themselves be filled and moved and strengthened by God’s perfect love…they will inherit the earth.

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Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. Who donate and volunteer and put on those damned safety pins knowing full well it’s not enough to quell the tide of injustice. Blessed are the Facebook ranters with all of their thousands of links and articles and emoticons, for all they’re trying to say is “I’m hungry, I’m hungry, We’re all so hungry.”

Blessed are the ones that allow themselves to feel this hunger for righteousness. Who do not stuff it full of McDonalds and reality TV and avoidance and simple answers. Blessed are those who do not try to quench their thirst with the entire bottle of chardonnay but who, instead, let themselves feel the parched discomfort of it.

Blessed are those who let this hunger and thirst drive them to the Bread of Life, to the well that does not run dry. Blessed are those who do not stop there but who pick up the bread and fill up a bucket and run fast to the need.

Blessed are these, for they will fill and be filled.

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Blessed are the merciful – the ones who refuse to make sweeping judgments. Who offer kindness and compassion to both the deserving and the undeserving…for we are, all of us, both of these people at once. For as they show others mercy, they will receive it in their own imperfect bodies.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will look directly into the eyes of their neighbor who voted for Trump, at their neighbor who voted for Clinton, at their neighbor who didn’t vote at all…and they will see the glint of an eternal soul.

They will see in each of these shadowed, hopeful, despairing face the indelible, undeniable, mark of the holy. The face of God.

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Blessed are the peacemakers, who dare to emerge from their own echo chambers – those places where the satisfying reverberations of shared rage so quickly becomes a siren song. Blessed are they who choose, instead, to step into the dissonance of a thousand varied voices and listen for the angel song.

Blessed are the peacemakers who do not slink off silent to avoid conflict…but rather engage in conflict with kindness, listening, and love. Blessed are those courageous enough to let those with whom they disagree into their lives, to break bread at the table, to work it out over a glass of wine – blood of Christ, spilled over us all.

Blessed are the peacemakers. They will be called children of God even as they learn to call it out in others.

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Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness…but held near to the heart of God are those who are persecuted because the world is broken, shot through with hate and meanness: The Asian woman who had eggs thrown at her in the street yesterday. The Latino children who listened to classmates shout Build that wall on the school playground.

After all, the kingdom of heaven belongs not to the king or the politician but to the carpenter and the shepherd, the abused and forgotten, the refugee and the orphan. The door to get inside is low, low, low to the ground. You must make yourself very small.

You must crawl on your hands and knees through the dirt before you can see the glory. Before you can see that the table set and the heavens have split into a welcome song for you: you, the downtrodden, the mournful, the grieving, hoping peacemaker. For you, the persecuted. For you, the beloved.

Come in, come in, come in.

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42 thoughts on “Beatitudes for the Week After the Election

    1. Hey, no judgment. I drank a fair amount of Trader Joe’s boxed Shiraz on Wednesday. Woops.

  1. Blessed are those who rekindle hope in their blog readers. Blessed are those who show others that gathering up all those jagged edges makes for a beautiful mosaic of love. Blessed are those who share that chardonnay (even though I’d prefer pinot grigio, myself). Blessed are you, dear friend.

    1. And blessed are those who make safety pin decals for minivans! Wish we could share a bottle of Pinot. One of these days!

  2. Yes. I loved the line of listening for the angel song instead of the siren song. Peace on earth, goodwill to people.

  3. Beautiful. This is the first time in the last week that I have thought about current events and felt blessed.

  4. Read this out loud this morning at my little kitchen table in Northern Ireland. We have carried a few too many opinions and feelings about the U.S. election here too. We have also had Brexit. We also have all the ordinary stuff of life, and this speaks deeply to all of it. Thanks Addie xo

    1. Love that. Thanks so much Sharon. (And yes. The whole world is hurting, isn’t it?)

  5. This is one of the few places I can come and feel hope. I thought if I just listened and didn’t say much this past week, I would be better off, but some of the places and voices were just too much. It has pushed me into a very weird rolled up in a ball mentality. You give me a place to breathe. Thank you.

    1. I’ve been feeling a little rolled-up-in-a-ball myself. So glad you find hope here. xo

  6. thank you for validating the mourning, for the reminder that Jesus did not command happiness.

  7. Thank you so much for this. Reading this felt like a healing balm. May I print it out and post it on my office door to share with my students? (with proper attributions of course)

  8. This…I have been without words ever since but I find an “amen” after reading yours. Thank you and I hope you don’t mind but I shared on my Facebook page. These are words all should consume. Thank you.

  9. Thank you for.your moving words. They haven’t lost any of their power, and I’m reading them for the first time today.

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