Categories: Wednesday ripples Tags: , , , , 14 Comments

“I Wept; I Rise.”

Wow.  Donald Trump is the President of the United States, the most powerful economic and military country in the world.  That was a very difficult sentence for my fingers to type.  I haven’t felt this stunned by world events since 9/11, 2001.  The world was changed then, and it is changed now.

To be honest, yesterday hope felt far removed from the realities of the day.  The speeches of Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton and President Obama were inspiring and encouraging.  Like a drink of cool water in a barren desert, I was grateful to hear their intelligence, wisdom and humanity.

I appreciate notes of encouragement and shared dismay you’ve sent my way.  Family and friends have been in touch, and I’m so grateful for those connections.  Earlier yesterday Wingfield Rehmus sent a reflection that, with her permission, I would like to share with you.  She astutely expresses her grief and her determination to move forward in this piece we might call, “I Wept; I Rise.”  May it help us all remember the light that shines in every darkness.


by Wingfield Rehmus

Yesterday, I voted.
Last night, I wept……

I wept for the Khan family who bravely told their story and white America failed to respond.

I wept for immigrants that struggle day after day to make a better life for themselves and to build a new home for their families and again heard that they are not valued.

I wept for the disabled, mocked for their struggles, who are reminded that they are still pushing their chairs uphill.

I wept for same-sex couples, told that their deep love is a threat to family values while a man married three times with countless accusations of sexual assault celebrates as the torch-bearer of Evangelical values.

I wept for girls who yet again see that even if they loyally uphold their marital vows, work tirelessly for the public good, and strive to put forth a positive agenda, they are not good enough if a charismatic man comes along to challenge their accomplishments and grade their physical appearance.

I wept for boys who are presented with a model of success built upon rising higher by knocking others down.

I wept for women who have been groped by strangers and then told that they did something to bring it on or that they lied when they dared to come forward.

I wept for rural Americans who feel so disillusioned that their best hope comes in the form of a man offering walls and insults and instability.

I wept for the Earth, threatened by human unwillingness to face the reality of our collective impact.

I wept for those who seek to tell the truth as they watch boldly stated lies overshadow the plainly spoken truth.

I wept for African Americans when the answer to systemic bias is stop and frisk, law and order.

I wept for young women facing horrible choices.
I wept for those who have lost loved ones to gun violence.
I wept for Christianity.
I wept for religious freedom.
I wept for humility and justice and mercy.

I even wept for a man whose sense of self is so fragile that he must paint his name in gold letters on everything he touches and who lashes at any who threaten his position.

The election might not have been about these things, but is was all of them.
And so I wept and as the tears fell, the rain washed over me as the skies joined in my sorrow.

Last night I wept, and I wept, and I wept.
This morning, I must rise.

I rise no longer complacent that good will prevail simply because it is good.
I rise aware that democracy is fragile and difficult and worth fighting for.
I rise in solidarity with all who felt belittled by a campaign built on the cornerstones of hate and fear.
I rise unwilling to remain silent in the face of injustice.
I rise with gratitude for our Founding Fathers whose wisdom built checks and balances into our government.
I rise having heard the suffering of small town Americans and wanting to listen to what their vote is saying about their concerns.
I rise with faith that God is with us, even at the worst of times.
I rise knowing that no matter how dark the skies, the sun will break through, that a small candle can light a dark room and ready to hold that candle.
I rise with forgiveness for all the pain we humans have inflicted on each other.
I rise believing that we are stronger together.
I rise with profound love for my partner, my children, my family, my friends, my community and my country.
I rise determined to fight for a different vision.  A vision of a world in balance, a world of enough, a world of opportunity for all people and respect for others,  a world of hope and peace and justice and meaning.

Yesterday, I voted.
Last night, I wept.
This morning, I must rise
And tomorrow get to work.

Comments (14)

  1. Thank you for this Dan, there is some comfort here in the sharing of our collective shock and bewilderment.

  2. I’m sending this poem to a very upset, 80 year old friend in Maryland. A Republican at heart she voted Democrat this time because she is a loving, caring Christian and could not bear to see her country divided by one man’s ego, an “us and them” mentality, lies, etc. Thank you, Wingfield, your poem is beautiful…and poignant.

  3. Thank you, Wingfield and Dan, so much for sharing this heartfelt piece that expresses the sorrow and confusion so many feel but also reminds of the next steps and hope.

  4. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!
    Truly a balm for a distressed soul.
    Thank you.

  5. Thank you Wingfield & Dan for sharing something so poignant at this time as we stand in awe of what can happen in a country that we used to respect. Now we wonder what comes next.

  6. My son from San Francisco said “This is not the country I want my son to grow up in”. My daughter in law who is American, she said
    “There are so many protests now. We are all devastated. How did this happen? How do we have so many stupid American? How did our government fail so many people that they voted for such a vile human? ” We are sad. Never really contemplated this as a possibility. As Gordon commented, I feel how can the world respect the Mighty American anymore?? Thank you very much for Dan and Wingfield’s sharing.

  7. Honey on my aching soul.
    Thankyou for sharing these words

  8. Wow! That was written by our Wingfield! Thank you for sharing. That poem resonated with me and put words to everything I was feeling. Knowing there are people like Rev Dan, Wingfield and our caring congregation gives me hope in times I am fearful.

  9. Profoundly said!

  10. Thank you for sharing your grief and hope. I brings me some hope.

  11. Wingfield, you express what I’m feeling. Dan, thank you for sharing with us all. I’m stunned my country could turn the way it did. Time to rise and go to work.

  12. Maybe the rain wasn’t there to keep you company perhaps it was there to wash away the filth.
    Isn’t there something about faith and the lord working in mysterious ways.
    The ego of the selfrighteous pulling at their hair and beating their heads means nothing.
    You are right,now is the time for work and creating a better world.
    We have been given this day, these times, it’s time to blow our collective nose and realize we are blessed.
    It’s time to move forward with faith.
    Sowing seeds of discontent grows chaos from which the morningstar creates order.
    God asks us not to judge, He asks us to follow… This is where He leads us.
    Are we really smart enough to know how, why and what is best or do we submit to the 10 rules laid out and be amazed at His power.
    Sorry to whom I’ve offended here… Love and peace.

  13. Thank you all so very much for your words and support. It is, indeed, a difficult time and there is sadness on so many levels. I am very very grateful to be part of this incredible loving community. To be able to sit in church, challenged and inspired by Gary’s words, and then let “Hallelujah” wash over me was so healing. I do not know where our path goes from here, but am glad to be walking there with you.

  14. Gary mentioned this poem in his sermon this morning so I had to look it up. Absolutely how I felt! I am from Phoenix, AZ and came to Vancouver after the election as a way of running, but the sermon at St. Andrews this morning, “Hallelujah”, and the candlelight service this evening have given me new hope! I already have plans to visit my family for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but after that I haven’t decided whether to return to the US or go to another country. Today at St. Andrew’s definitely is pushing me toward going back to join the “joyful resistance”. Thank you St. Andrew’s congregation.

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