A Scary Story for These Days

[I shared this metaphor with my therapist recently and she asked if she could use it. (Of course.) I decided to share it with you as well.]

It’s almost dawn and you are asleep in bed when you realize that there is someone in your home. You hear people walking towards your bedroom and your phone is out of reach, so you hide in a closet.

Outside your closet you can hear voices saying, “Hey, we’re out here trying to help you. Are you okay? It’s safe to come out.”

But you are too scared. Can you trust those voices?

  • Maybe they are police officers who noticed something strange in your home.  Maybe the officers noticed that your front door was wide open or windows had been broken.  And the officers came inside to investigate.
  • Maybe it’s people who have entered your house to rob you or assault you and they know you’re in there.  And they are trying to trick you by saying, “We’re here to help you” when actually this is not true.

You are sitting in that dark place, holding your breath terrified what’s going to happen.  It could go either way.  Even if they are police officers outside your closet door, it doesn’t mean you’ll be safe.  The officers could be a threat to you too, depending on who you are or who they are.

And so you wait. And your heart is pounding.  But you don’t know what’s going to happen.  It could be dangerous out there.  Or it could turn out to be okay.

This is what it feels like the weekend before Election Day for many people in the United States.

We are waiting.  Our hearts are pounding.  We don’t know what will happen next week.  It could be dangerous out there.  It might literally kill us. Or it could turn out to be okay.

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them,  for the Lord your God goes with you; God will never leave you nor forsake you.

Like this verse from Deuteronomy, the Bible is filled with verses about God’s protection.  The reality is that terrible things happen even when we pray, even when we try to live a life that pleases God.  And yet love will always win.  Even when it doesn’t seem possible, love will ultimately win.  Scripture teaches us this too.

I’ve recently talked with People of Color who have stocked up on food and supplies so that they don’t have to go out into a world that might be violent in the coming days. I’ve talked with teachers who work with DACA kids who have opportunities to go to college on scholarship but they worry that someone will arrest them or their parents at any moment.  I’ve talked with Muslim Americans who remember that this current administration once issued a Muslim ban.  What could happen in a second term?  I know people from Puerto Rico who – upon being ravaged by multiple storms – were visited by a President who threw paper towels into the crowd rather than ensure the return of electrical power.

People are terrified on both political sides.  And some of us are stirring up that terror.  That’s not my intention here.  My intention is that we would remember the vulnerable who will be most impacted by the election results.

Please pray for those who are living in fear today and who might be living in deeper fear this time next week.  Please be the Church for them.

And may we all drop our weapons whether they are rocks or words.

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