I have not talked about it much. It is not something I felt like amplifying. It would not help me or anyone. So from November 8 through last week, my light was flickering. I suppose I don’t like talking about things which have no whisper of a solution.
February 1st, I dragged myself to hear Rev. Dr. Barber. I have written about him, watched him, love him; never heard him in person.
Occasionally, the spirit just takes over, makes the healthy decision which is a clear demonstration that it is still in there. It is still oiled and ready to go. It may be asleep but not dead. And so I got on the freeway and hoped.
Going in, I felt that there was nothing I could do about the changed direction of government, about the demolition of human rights, about the backlash. I felt that at age 68, the equality, the equity, the balance I had invested everything in was vanishing. It was an unmanageable loss. It was so much larger than the loss of Sec. Clinton. In fact it was a growing deadly virus that was unleashed and unpredictable.
You would think after all these years of meditation and study, that the fundamentals of Buddhist practice would have kept me afloat. It is exactly that seeming failure that made recovery feel impossible. I wanted to reassemble. I wanted to get new lamps, fill them with new oil and begin anew as it seemed the old had disappeared, fallen to the trash heap, never to recover and serve again.
And so it began. He brought his axe and pick. He dug in.
As I told the Long Beach City Council, ~
Last week I had the immeasurable good fortune to hear Rev Dr. William Barber speak.
He was here from North Carolina to receive an honorary doctorate from Occidental College.
He is one of the founders of Moral Mondays, The Forward Together Movement and Repairers of the Breach.
He lives and breathes on the acute intersection of social justice and examined Christianity.
He told us many things that night.
He even got me to sing and clap. He is irresistible.
First he captured my mind with his deep understanding of how this moment in history predictably unfurled.
Then he nourished my soul with a call to care for the poor, disenfranchised and marginalized.
But most importantly, he lifted me from a spiritual dark despair by explaining that ~
This is not democrats vs GOP
This is not rich vs poor
This is not thugs vs righteous people
This is a crisis
This is a moral crisis
This is a moral crisis that has been born over centuries and lives in systemic racism, classism and sexism.
Today we are called to mind the light.
Today we are called to be the light.
This is the ultimate call to be a moral society, a moral people, beginning by being a moral person.
This is the moment when we demand morality from ourselves and let that morality pour forward as a beacon to light the way for others to find safety with us.
Being a sanctuary city is the very least we can do.
To be a Sanctuary City does not just mean protection of those at risk.
To be a Sanctuary City is not just a public statement that we can proudly bear.
To offer sanctuary to all who love freedom and liberty,
Opens our hearts,
Restores our souls,
It lifts our intentions and prayers above the law
And begins to repair our broken spirit.
Let us be a sanctuary city.
Let us be a sanctuary to one another.
Let us be a sanctuary to ourselves.
To start, I am a sanctuary person, you are safe with me.