I would cry, but I’m too busy turning despair into hope, and hope into constructive action.
I’ve seen people attempt to drive out hate with hate. I’ve seen people try and worry themselves into feeling better. None of that works. I’d rather come up with a better plan, a plan grounded in radical love, a love that renders my ego senseless.
After the recent U.S. election, our church supported the Safety Pin movement. We handed out Safety Pins and encouraged people to wear them as a symbol of solidarity. The pin says, “I will be a safe place for others. Whatever your religion, race, immigration status, sexual orientation, political affiliation or other, you are safe with me.”
One congregant asked, “Is it okay to stick mean people with the pins?”
I laughed and said, “What do you think?”
Many others embraced the pin – we circulated over 800 of them.
But some opposed the pin. Not so much in our church, but on social media. One article, called “Dear White People,” said it was wrong to wear the pin. It described the practice as a passive gesture to help us feel good about ourselves without really accomplishing anything of value.
I was determined to leave resistance at home and serve with a new level of grace. I was willing to be called and chosen, shaken and stirred, in whatever way would be most helpful.
That’s why on Saturday morning, when I was summoned to help prepare a feast for 50-plus people, I said “yes.” I went to the kitchen, found a sharp knife, and stood before a mountain of broccoli. It was mine. I was going to scale it like a German Tank. I would conquer the broccoli and have something to show for my effort. Tangible results. Evidence.
I picked up broccoli stalk number one and cut it into bite-sized florets. I peeled the woody stalk like Nikki taught me.