the Empathy List #46: Insurrection? Already?
What happened to the New Year?
Hello, friend. Liz, here.
Maybe you’ve heard. (Who hasn’t?) Our 45th president isn’t happy. Can you blame him? After all, he was blocked from Facebook and Twitter. *roll eyes*
Oh yeah, and there was insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on the day of the confirmation of electoral college votes that will cement, once and for all, Joe Biden as the next American president.
Maybe you, like me, have been tempted to dig around for the receipt to 2021. But friends, this is what we’ve got.
So let’s use this strange season. Let’s study ourselves, our nation, and our lives closely as the new year begins.
When we zoom in, do we diagnose justice or injustice? Do we see fear or love? Do we notice bigotry or welcome?
It’s worth asking those questions on a personal as well as a corporate level because we’re stuck with each other. And rather than simply rage and whinge and prosecute each other (often rightly…), the call on every person is to repent.
“Repent” is a churchy word, but it’s meaning is simple:
To “repent” means to turn around.
To change your mind.
To make a full about-face.
Such a move vanquishes addiction, transforms belief systems, and rewrites political affiliations. And to repent is our only hope.
Where do you and I need to repent? How can we make an about-face that honors what is good, demonstrates love, and proves loyalty to Jesus?
Thanks for reading, and happy new year!
Warmly, Liz Charlotte Grant
#1 An oral history of the chaos in D.C., as told by insiders.
(Politico) Read more…
#2 “My mother as a teenager used to pick someone else’s cotton. …Yet those hands that once picked cotton instead went to the polls yesterday to pick her youngest son to be a U.S. senator.”
Senator-elect Reverend Warnock is the first black senator in Georgia, and his acceptance speech made me cry!
(The Washington Post) Watch…
#3 Surprise! Kanye and Kim are splitting up, in part because of that delusional presidential run…
(The Cut) Read more…
#4 It’s okay to not be okay. We don’t have to shy away from those hard emotions; instead, press in.
(Brain Pickings) Read more…
#5 A cancer diagnosis can make even the irreligious pray in this poem from Diagram. Which makes me wonder… who else is surprised to find themselves praying in this season?
PSALM [THE LANGUAGE OF ALGEBRA AND NEUROPHYSICS]
by Clay Matthews
The languages of algebra and neurophysics
buzz through the fluorescent, Lord, and I
wonder if in order to receive blessings
somewhere something else must be cursed.
Goddamn, I say, then apologize.
I repeat: I'm sorry. I repeat: I'm afraid.
Help, I confess, and feel unworthy of the light
that falls on my shoulders, every single blade
of hair that hangs on my head. The feathers
of the sparrow, the chemotherapy, the fatigue,
and sometimes a song my daughter listens to
about rainbows makes me weep.
Between a tear and the glory tearing me apart,
colors must shape the side of the soul
like a river. Oh, that I were a dove. Oh, that I
might turn over and drown in peace. I sit in a corner
with boxing gloves and trap doors opening
and closing around me. Each night I pray
for you to listen a little while longer.
Poet’s Note: After a recent diagnosis of cancer and several rounds of chemotherapy, I returned to the Psalms as a means to grapple with my version of reality and to converse more intentionally with my version of god. The language of cancer is often metaphorized as a battle or a fight, but sometimes, even with a shiny new set of boxing gloves, it's hard to know what you're swinging at.