It is hard sometimes not to feel crushed by the world. Because what the world values right now is so contrary to the call of the Gospel. These are dark days indeed, but I always do well to remember that dark days have come and gone before, and the light always triumphs -- eventually. God is God even in the dark. And I need to remember that, even or most especially when the darkness seems to overwhelm. Our work as Christian people is to always find God where God may be found, and to bear witness to the hope, the light, and the love that redeems the world.
I have seen and felt God at work even in these dismal days. I have seen God at work in the hearts of the community I minister among; in the faces of those finding ways to celebrate love even in the midst of their fear and terror. I have seen God in the ways they uphold and encourage one another when things grow difficult. The ways they minister to one another.
I have seen God beneath the wigs and glitter, putting on a smiling face and singing a song even though the voice may quaver or the weariness of another season of persecution weighs down the heart. I have seen God in the relentless efforts of the persecuted continuing to raise money for agencies that serve the greater good; drawing money from pockets that themselves are threadbare and near empty.
I have heard God in the lamentations and the stories and the struggles of my friends and family in the LGBTQ community who look for holy purpose in the world, seek ways of love and service, and yes – even when we occasionally withdraw into the protective shell of the ghetto to create bubbles of safety and love for our beloveds.
I have seen God in this community’s love for me, and their encouragement that my work among them matters. That God still matters. I have seen God in the courageous struggles of my trans* siblings to live authentically even in the face of misunderstanding, collapsing services that help us to achieve health and safety, and the economic uncertainties that come with threats to criminalize us and dismantle protections that many rely on.
While the powers and principalities of this present world oppress and destroy, it is hard to remember the Light. It is hard to trust that the only thing that matters is the Love we bear for one another, the Love we show forth or mirror back to others. This is what heals. This is where hope is to be found in the midst of darkness. And so, we work.
We work so hard to assure every soul of their deep value, their beloved-ness. This is the Christian vocation. To let no soul be mistaken or misled by the world’s lies that tell them they are unloved or unlovable. The Gospel is clear – God loves every soul with a depth and passion that can never be destroyed by the world’s foolish madness.
So – do not be crushed by the world. Remember whose you are. Imperfect as I am, I love you. Imagine, then, God who is so much better at loving than any of us. God’s love for you in unquenchable. This, above all, is where we may find our hope in dark times.