I will admit that I am a bit of a chickenshit.
Big talk. Big ideas. Scary Feelings. Little follow through on those big talks and ideas.
Yet, the year I lived in a shelter for women experiencing domestic violence, as a full-time volunteer, my commitment to the women was 110%. At the same time, my heart wondered in the big ideas of who provides transformational spaces for the abusers? I had no recourse and my first priority was for the women and children who came to our shelter.
The night that Trump won the election, I awoke in the middle of the night, hearing a loud noise in my home, convinced that the hatred of his campaign and that his presidency would unleash was in my home. The vision and guidance that came to me was this: to pray for all the beating hearts in America, and I saw a map covered in pink rosettes (a day later, I received payment from a client inside a card, that was a close-up o f a pink rosette). This time I prayed. I began what would be frequent hunkering down to hold all the beating hearts in America within my love and hope.
The aftermath of Charlottesville VA hate march has left me reeling. Oh, how I am so very grateful to all the people who are writing profound and courageous pieces on racism, to all the people of color who are our shining beacons for change, for those who showed the way to denounce white supremacy.
So, I posted on my facebook page that "Hapax Spiritual Direction will respectfully work with any white supremacist who desires to change but does not have the life infrastructure to do so." I wanted to add the hastags "scaredcompletely#whatamIthinking #notacounselor. I've learned though, to just put it out there. Will I recieve any phone calls from white supremacists who do not have the life infrastructure to change? I don't know. I really hope so. Do I have a plan if anyone does? I do not, beyond my usual deep listening and intuitive loving presence. Part of my regualr practice is to know when I need to refer. This would apply here too. But you can bet that I will provide a space that is safe, empowering, vulnerable, affirming, bullshit calling, life affirming. Because I care.
I'm not foolish. This is not a call to dialog with die-hard white supremacists. This is an invitation to work with those ready to change. Can you imagine? Can you imagine being a part of such a group mindset and wanting to get out? Can you imagine? Can you imagine your co-workers, your family, your friends full into hate when you want to get out? That is who I want to work with. I cannot imagine the fear and vulnerability.
This is also why, while I am at about 82% post-denominational, I am a christian. I follow the gospel of Jesus because the words attributed to him say to love my enemy. That is subversive and radical. And it works. The transformation is multidirectional and is an equal opportunity game changer for all involved. And so I do it. I put myself out there. Shaking in my shoes.
Let's see what happens.