Keeping Our Lights Burning in Dark Days — Rev. Mary McKinnon Ganz

The election is over, the transition has begun, and the news of each cabi- net appointment seems to draw the darkness closer. How are you keeping yourself centered and hopeful enough to do what has to be done?

We are a culture that is addicted to list making, and every day brings a new list for staying strong in these post-election days. I find many of them dispiriting: “How to survive autocracy,” for example. I spend hours searching for information, yet the information is often just what I don’t need to get my center back.

Recently I had a dream about somebody close to me being unjustly accused, and I awoke with more clarity than I’d felt since Nov. 8. This election has upended the rules we live by, including the rules of fairness. The truth didn’t matter, in this election. No wonder if we are off-kilter.

Of course, I learned long ago that the world does not live by the rules of fairness I have believed in passionately since childhood. This is one of the hard lessons of growing up. But I have clung to hope of fairness, to belief in truth. I suffer for this hope, for this belief, but it is suffering I would not trade for anything.

I offer you my own small list for keeping our lights on, as darkness gathers:

  1. Don’t be distracted by personality. There’s plenty to be horrified by, yes, but our horror will not help us.
  2. Do something every day to resist. I am developing a practice to take 15 minutes to call members of congress or government agencies every day. There are plenty of suggestions out there about what calls might be effective; send me an email if you would like help finding them.
  3. Know that there are many others doing this work of resistance. You don’t have to do it all.
  4. Build and nurture your communities – this church, especially. We need people around us who remind us who we are, and we need to take on the responsibility of reminding each other who we are.

Your light matters. Keep it burning, Mary