Half of North Americans found the events of 11/9 as shocking as those of 9/11. For them, some directions towards healing:
- Reaching into that deep reservoir within, that spacious sanctuary where always and everywhere, we are God’s beloved children, no matter what. This secure identity, which transcends political, gender, age or race distinctions, is the only secure place from which to step into the future.
- Borrowing Anne Lamott’s phrase, we don’t “buy a cute throw rug to toss over the abyss.” In other words, legitimate mourning is appropriate. Denial is not. We acknowledge that this mysterious threshold in the national history may summon all the intelligence and courage we can bring to it.
- Recalling a long and noble history of resistance: the Christian martyrs, the Civil Rights movement, the Vietnam war protests. As civil war raged in El Salvador, Ignacio Ellacuria, SJ (later murdered by the military) said, “when the violence increases, we must think harder.” We must also pray harder. The current situation in the US has not led to bloodshed, but we can follow the spirit of his idea: studying more, practicing inclusion more deliberately, engaging in sane and courteous conversations, hoping fiercely, praying because we need intense help.
- Remembering that historically Christians have been strongest when oppressed. Groups that will resist attacks on immigrants, targeting of minorities and assaults on the environment are clear and articulate in their opposition now. Depending on what happens in the months ahead, they’ll need our support to continue.
- Turning to life-giving sources: each other, reflection, music, the sacred texts of each tradition, whatever has helped in difficult transitions before. For some, it’s poetry: Palestinian-American Naomi Shihab Nye reads “Gate A-4,” at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwDXJ50U22o. The touching story of cooperation among different ethnic groups concludes, “All is not lost.”