Monday, November 14, 2016

The Ministry of Optimism

What an interesting Sunday--because so many of my fellow church members are also Facebook friends, I had a sense of how people were feeling.  Many members of my church are immigrants or the children of immigrants.  A third to a half of our attendees on any given Sunday are minorities (although down here, the minority is the majority).  Feelings are still raw after the election.

Across the morning, we talked about the importance of standing with the oppressed and dispossessed.  We talked about the Christian history of staying silent too long, along with the Christian tradition of resistance.

I had resistance on the brain, having just written a blog post about it before leaving for church.  So perhaps it's not surprising that I would sketch this:

Along the way, several people thanked me for my writing.  I never know exactly what they're seeing:  what I write for our weekly newsletter?  My blog posts?  A stray poem here and there?  I just said "Thank you."

One woman said, "I love your positive approach to life."

I know that my positive approach can be irritating.  My spouse tends to be in this mood these days:  a glass half empty and what's there is poisoned kind of mood.  I'm trying to maintain some balance.  I'm fearful, of course, because beneath my sunny nature runs a strong stream of anxiety. 

But I also think it's important to remember that the end may not be nigh.  Most of us understand how high the stakes are, in a way that we might have forgotten in the past 8 years.  We have some amount of power, both as individuals and as groups.

And it takes a lot to shift the ship of state.  Many people have been angry with President Obama because he didn't accomplish as much as they wanted.  Similarly, people will be angry with Trump.

In the past few days, I've wondered about a ministry of optimism.  We all have our different spiritual gifts.  Maybe mine is optimism.

When I was sorting through paperwork this week-end, I came across some notes that I made during the 2011 Create in Me retreat.  I am reminded that God can take what is broken:

God can use our human hands:

And at the end, brokenness can be transformed into beauty:

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