I created this blog as a resource for members of Community of Christ. But I hope that audience will forgive me if I use the blog today to address a subject not obviously related to Community of Christ, but one that weighs on me given my LDS background. This post is directed to people in my life who still live within or near the LDS Church.
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It’s Sunday evening, May 20, 2018. Pentecost, as it happens. I have been agitated all weekend by the Streeter hoax and its nuclear fallout. I lay awake until 4:00 a.m. last night, thinking about it.
I say that as a prelude to trying to empathetically imagine what these last few days must have been like–and are still like, ongoing–for people who are more deeply invested in the LDS Church than I am at this point in my life and more deeply impacted by its racist legacies.
There is so much pain, so much anger, for different reasons, from different directions. I find the volume and intensity of it all overwhelming–and again, I speak as someone standing at a considerable remove from ground zero.
To intensify matters yet further, all this pain and anger are ineluctably political. As we speak, boundaries and battle lines are being drawn or fortified. Different voices are competing to be heard, battling with one another to claim the moral high ground, to secure the most rhetorically strategic positions, to be heard most loudly, to marginalize other voices while resisting being marginalized themselves. I’m doing it right now. As I said, it’s ineluctable.
It’s hard for me to see how this can end well.
I’m writing this post because I’m hoping that it can somehow help me achieve enough mental and emotional distance from this incident that I can focus on the tasks of the coming week. Once again: I say that as prelude to acknowledging that other people, closer to and more badly wounded by the blast than I, are going to be struggling to do that as well, but bearing much greater burdens.
Here’s where I find my spirit turning at this moment:
1 Kings 19:11-13
There was a great wind,
so strong that it split mountains and broke rocks in pieces.
But God was not in the wind.
After the wind, an earthquake.
But God was not in the earthquake.
After the earthquake, a fire.
But God was not in the fire.
And after the fire,
a sound of sheer silence.
When Elijah heard it,
he wrapped his face in his mantle
and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.