I continue to read Ginger Gaines-Cirelli’s book Sacred Resistance: A Practical Guide to Christian Witness and Dissent. There continues to be many, many useful ideas to ponder.
In addition to grounding our actions in God’s love by attending to our own spiritual life we also need to be clear about what God is calling us to do. The amount of evil, the sheer volume of things that are not aligned with God’s will is overwhelming. I can’t fix everything and neither can you. I am not called to fix everything, and neither are you.
This practice of keeping crisis in perspective can only be achieved in the context of a holistic vision that is truly committed to the common good. Without such a vision, every eruption of new violence or injustice can feel like the end of days. Unmoored from history or context, senseless, banal acts of evil and destruction will tempt us to reactivity-fight or flight-instead of to reasoned, thoughtful, faithful, response.
Perspective is how we “hold” reality, how we frame it and understand it. If our framework is God’s saving love always at work for the healing and wholeness of the world, we hold moments of crisis differently than we might within another frame. (Page 18)
In the context of sacred resistance, part of keeping perspective is to be clear about what role God is calling you to play. Nobody can attend to all the needs all the time. (page 19)
How do we keep this perspective? This isn’t actually rocket science. Go to worship. Pray. Participate in the sacraments. Have a community of believers you can be honest and open with. Look for the places you can see God at work- in beauty, in nature, in other people. Notice acts of kindness and care. Do little acts of kindness and care- for others and yourself.
How do we discern what role God is calling you or I to do? Again, this in some ways is simple. What breaks your heart? What inspires you? What skills, and abilities do you have? Some of us can feed hungry people. Some of us can craft legislation and lobby congress to create systemic changes. Some of us can survey our town and locate food deserts and work to change zoning and encourage local development to address local food insecurity problems. Each of us does our piece.
Always working out of a centeredness in the divine life, working out of love for the common good.
How do you know what role God is calling you to? What do you do to keep your perspective?