Tina L Porter

#UULent: Peace

Grace No Comment

I came to my blog not to write about UULent, but to give voice to the panic that is arising within me as world leaders play chicken with the threat of nuclear annihilation.

And then I peeked at the calendar where I wrote the topics that I have been ignoring for way too long. (Did I mention that I’m not real good at this Lent thing?)

Peace.

For Good Friday, talk about peace. Picture peace. Put peace in a picture.

Peace.

The church bells just went off so I know it is noon and I’m thinking about drinking or taking a few anxiety pills because … annihilation. Because some people think that war is good and our President just made a bunch of money when he sent all those Tomahawk missiles into Syria. And then the Mother of All Bombs. Parenthetically: Can we talk a bit about how we name things here? Don’t include mothers in your killing and why are you appropriating words from the culture you tried to annihilate without nuclear weapons.

But I digress.

Peace.

It was just last week when I posted the following to Facebook after the first airstrikes–a post uncommonly full of expletives for me. Sort of.

So, in the middle of writing this post, I just went upstairs to eat a f*cking orange. Because the advice and the oranges are still good.

But it doesn’t bring me to peace.

Nor can it. Because the peace I’m seeking isn’t out there so much as in here–in this swirling brain and body who take too much in sometimes for it to be healthy. And I’m not just talking about carbs. Though … carbs.

What’s really got me mad at this moment is the realization that I’m am on the verge of being more mentally sound than I have been in ages. Color is coming back into the world–which is not a metaphor. I’ve been rereading Crossing to Avalon, by Jean Shinoda Bolen, MD, and she talks about the grayness of depression that I hadn’t yet recognized was part of the problem.

I’ve been acting like a toddler lately: look, there’s yellow. Look at those blues. And it isn’t just because it’s April in the midwest where it is always gray, but it is because I have been living in my own gray cave for much too long.

And I just started poking my head and toes out into the world beyond (sort of a hokey-pokey for the soul) when all thus f*ckery and gamesmenship started between the man in our whitehouse (or his gold hotel, wherever he is right now) and this crazy man in North Korea. (And what is it about authoritarians and bad hair? I don’t mean to be superficial here, but you’d think by now we would have spotted the trend.)

So … peace.

I know I won’t get it by chasing it or by eating an orange in one fell swoop¬†because I want it to make me feel better.

Don’t tell me I’ll find it in God’s love right now. Or the love of Jesus. Because for the love of Jesus, we need to stand up for decency right now. We need to say that Black, Brown and Indigenous lives matter. We need to say that women are owed primacy in the decisions affecting their bodies. We need to say that we could pay for the lunches of all children for one year with one presidential trip to Florida. And what would Jesus think about our president making money off of bombing people?

So here’s the thing, before all the Christians come getting up in my grill for blaspheming during Holy Week: I believe in God. I believe in goodness and I believe that people who hate others for whatever reason have been wounded and are fearful. And I believe that God lives in the divide between fear and hate. And more than anything, I believe that there are many paths to God because not everyone will come to Jesus through a¬†book written by many men long after Jesus died.

So on this day that is holy for many and this time that is fraught for many more, I’m still going to hold out that orange and say: eat this and remember what is good. Especially to myself.

Peace is in that divide, with God. And I’m doing my best to get there, too. Even with a foul mouth and a cranky attitude.

So I will sit with my fear and the hatred I’ve felt and recognize my own wounds even as I try to love my neighbor as my self.

So, if the world does end today in a fiery ball of fission, let these be my last words: I love you. Even when I’m cranky. Even when the oranges are gone. Even when I am gone. You just can’t nuke that out of a body.

Peace out.

 

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