I breathe

I breathe today.

I wondered this morning what I would say to my daughter when she woke up, she who was jumping with joy to stand my my side voting for the first female U.S. President.  She dressed as a suffragette for Halloween, and at home, we have been studying together the history of the founding mothers who made it possible to have the right to vote, and to advocate in public arenas.  I hold as my spiritual and vocational matriarchs Jane Addams, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Ida B. Wells, Frances Perkins.  I thought of them.  I felt all the feelings that they too must have felt: anger, worry, uncertainty, determination.  I breathed in their strength for struggles of the past, struggles of the present, struggles yet to come.

I breathe today.

I have my personal political convictions, and I am grateful that I can express them.  I choose to deeply hold my faith in a non-partisan way because I believe that God is greater than any of our human politics or divisions.  I believe with unwavering certainty that Jesus always extended preferential treatment for the poor and oppressed, and that my deepest calling in life and ministry is to follow that example.  I am reminded on this post-election morning that this call is unchanged.  In fact, it has strengthened.  As a citizen, I am sad and I am angry, because I believe the country in which I live is now poised to make decisions that will hurt the poor, the marginalized, and the already disenfranchised.  So, my faith dictates that my advocacy be strengthened not around a candidate or party or ideology, but around this call to mercy and justice for those most at the margins.  I step into that call with renewed, prayerful commitment.

I breathe today.

This morning, my “to do” list seems irrelevant.  It is clear that I have places in my life and work where I have a voice that needs to be heard, and work that needs to be done.  My priority is to do that.  If I seem to not be so committed to projects without impact, it’s because I am.  Sorry if that hurts your feelings or leaves you with one less person on your committee to justify the existence of something insignificant.  I’m done with that.  Now is not the time to waste one moment.  It is the time to ready myself through prayer, study, immersion in community to do what has been my life-long calling: to join with and advocate for the poor, the oppressed, and those society would rather not see or hear.  We are joined together, all of us.  It has never been so important to be present with and for all people in this diverse and multi-faceted world in which we live.

I breathe today.

I’m aware that this breath of life which I have been given needs to be used and not wasted.  With it, I will speak and write and support and pray.  I am aware that at first I may seem to be more serious; less fun; smile less.  These are outward signs of an inward life committed to that which is greater than I am.  These will return, in time, because they are also a part of who I am.  But my first priority is to serve this call and commitment of my life.  Into the void of uncertainty, I breathe possibility.  My breath is not my own, but that which has been given to me to do the work to which I’ve been called to do.

I breathe today.

Join me.



About harasprice

Professor of Social Work and Priest in The Episcopal Church, parent, teacher, learner, writer, advocate, and grateful traveller along this journey through life
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