At the Epicenter

At the Epicenter

epicenter
—noun 
1. a point, directly above the true center of disturbance, from which the shock waves of an earthquake apparently radiate.
2. a focal point, as of activity.

Our regional clergy gathering this week was led by a colleague, Adam, who serves a congregation in Connecticut (the one where Stephen Kendrick went when he left Columbia, in fact). As he opened the worship service to begin our time together, Adam looked around the room at the dozens of us who serve here in the greater Washington area, and he noted that we were at the epicenter of the national political upheaval — an epicenter from which the rest of the country (and our colleagues and other congregations) is at least somewhat removed.

I appreciated hearing this truth named by someone outside of our region. How reassuring that our unique lived reality is recognized, at least by some others. Perhaps the bewildering chaos of (especially) this election season isn’t just in my imagination.

It’s a gift to have someone bear witness out loud.

So I said a silent word of thanks for this acknowledgement, and then I thought of you.

I thought of you who are canvassing neighborhoods, posting signs, knocking on doors for your chosen candidates. You who are traveling to Virginia to engage voters. You who are making calls to other states from your homes. You who are doing all in your power to Get Out The Vote. Thank you.

Thank you for believing in the promise and potential of our democracy.

Thank you for believing that not all is lost.

Thank you for shirking complacency.

Thank you.

As early voting begins, I’m choosing to believe in possibility. Possibility for love and compassion to overcome hate. Possibility for real progress, even as we’ve recently experienced so much backsliding. Possibility for our children to grow up in a world that is less racist, less misogynistic, less transphobic, less heteronormative. A world that is more just and whole and universalist than the one in which I’ve lived so far.

So, thank you. Thank you for being engaged. For voting. For not giving in to despair.

Thank you for believing in the promise and potential of our democracy.

Let’s vote.

Determinedly in love,
Paige

 

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