Christmas day has come and gone and I do not feel much reorientation.
The baby Jesus in the hundreds of nativity scenes decorating my home still carries for me the promise of hope. But, the religion which dares to claim his name has a history as violent as any other religion. Even now, I hear those who claim to represent him attack those who do not see everything exactly as they choose to interpret it. The evangelical church where I raised my daughters is continuing the all too familiar pattern of devouring their own. I cannot turn back that direction with any conviction or hope.
My country is headed in directions I find dangerous not just for ourselves but for others around the globe. Our election process is handing power to a man who promises to reject the refugee, to bomb those he deems unworthy, and who has shown a constant trait of attacking anyone who displeases him at home. With the legislative branch controlled by the same party that brought him to power, much that I believe in may quickly be changed or abandoned. I cannot wave a flag and feel that all is well. I prepare instead for opposition and standing with those in need of allies. I wonder in how many ways I am on the list of those who will face harm.
I turn instead to the wonder of being alive in a universe beyond my mind’s capacities. I turn to positive relationships with my neighbors. I turn to focus on how I treat each person in my daily encounters — students, clerks, other drivers whether courteous or irritating, family members, people who disagree with me…
Perhaps that is all the reorientation I have left; gratitude for my own life and a dedication to be a positive part of other lives.
Maybe it is enough.