We’re all in the same boat.
Hell and high water have come. Pretending that it is not raining on our heads is not an expression of faith. We are faced with our own mortality and the fabric of American society is unraveling. In fact, the garment has come undone.
Don’t tell me to hold it together. Don’t tell me to keep it together while the world falls apart. Let us refuse to be strong and reject the invitation to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders. Instead, don’t ignore the symptoms of sea sickness: nausea, vomiting, dizziness, lightheadedness.
You should have a seat. In fact, let’s all sit down. Take some deep breaths in and out.
Let’s lean into our vulnerability. Don’t act like it’s not happening. Be present and tend to the moment.
Don’t take off on a flight of fancy to what will be in a future unseen. Yes, it will likely work out but right now it’s not working. It’s not the end of the world and we’re not “going up yonder.” No, stay in touch with reality.
Feel the water coming down and your clothes getting drenched now. We are cold and shivering. I can hear your teeth chattering.
Rainwater running from hair to eyes to nose, to mouth, to chin, to toes. Puddles forming. We are almost soaking wet.
Because it’s raining cats and dogs, “lions, tigers, and bears, oh my!” The sky is throwing everything at us— except the kitchen sink.
It is as if the world is having a tantrum, a meltdown and I, for one, could use a time out—before I call it quits. Everything and everyone needs to calm down. We all just need to settle down.
But also get it all out; let it all out. Let me know how you really feel. No pretension, no pretending, no feigning, no ulterior motives, no bait and switch, no gaslighting, no faking it until you make me believe that things are not as they seem.
No, show me your hand. Don’t smile and then lie through your teeth.
Let me know that you don’t respect a woman’s body or believe she should have autonomy, that she should be free to make her own decisions.
Let me know that you support the patriarchy, misogyny, white supremacy, and the Confederacy.
Let me know that you will attack your own government rather than defend it for all Americans.
Let me know that you don’t want African Americans to vote so you change the laws, change the maps, change the rules as if democracy is a game to you.
“A roll of the dice.” “The luck of the draw.” “Make your own luck.” “It’s all up in the air.”
Life isn’t fair. Good people finish last. The wicked get promoted, which means there is now more work on our plates. Consequently, we cannot stomach faith- shaming.
Because questioning my faith when I’m already questioning my faith is not helping.
Because “these rain drops keep falling on my head.”
Because even when Jesus is with you, storms come. And when they do, it is not because you have sinned or you had it coming or you don’t believe in or trust God. It just looks like rain.
Jesus’ presence doesn’t change the forecast; in fact, he gets rained on too.
So, don’t tell me that I shouldn’t panic, that my doubt is rocking the boat when we are surrounded by water, when the boat is taking on more water, when I have this sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that you don’t know how to swim and don’t have a life vest— all while claiming that Jesus is “the captain of your soul.”
We’re both calling on the name of Jesus and the pleas sound the same when the waves are choppy and the water is rough.
Can we get someone to patch up this leaky spot in the sky?
This in addition to rising gas prices, inflation, the COVID- 19 pandemic, and faith in crisis. It cost more to live, and so many Americans have no interest in merely surviving.
Because this is not our first storm; this is not the first time it has rained on our parade. Thunder and lightning don’t stop this show. No, we have dance routines for the rain. But this storm is different.
It threatens to take us under, and we won’t be able to hold our breath long enough. We are not strong enough to fight back the wind and the waves. We don’t know if we can come back from this.
Still, we would agree with painter Vincent Van Gogh that “the fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.” So, we look at each other and decide to stay in the boat.
Keep going. We’ll reach a new shore soon.