“standing down is not an option”

I haven’t written for a long time. Truth be told, I just didn’t have it in me. Post-election was, has been, rough. The spew of hatred and bigotry that has come to light in this election made it clear, that it wasn’t going to be a good four years moving forward. Some people could bounce back and fight, but that’s not me. The election hit my gut and heart hard because I truly believed that if Hillary Clinton could have won, our country could move forward in many streams of social justice (perhaps pulling my lagging church with the culture). In the time of advent, of waiting, of hoping, I stayed in the darkness not wanting to come out. I needed to rest, listen, reflect, and strengthen my foundation for justice because it’s going to be a long four years.

I’m not alone. Many of my friends are overwhelmed at what is yet to come, the unknowing more fearful than if we actually had a grasp on what our President-elect is thinking. I had to sit a bit; licking my wounds because without healing I would burn out.

But I knew I couldn’t remain sitting, 2017 meant it was time to get up and fight. I have been daunted with the fact that I am a cis-gendered white straight woman because I want to be the best ally, co-conspirator I can be. Where do I turn my attention? How can I show love and compassion, yet challenge those privileged as I? Yet, to even ponder is privilege and that is no excuse to do nothing.

Last night, for New Year’s Eve, instead of going out, drinking bubbly, and dancing; I went to Repairers of the Breach’s Watch Night Service. I heard person after person share their story on why we need a moral revival in this country, that justice was needed, that it was Biblically based, and that we needed to wake up as a nation. I needed this. Hope was restored and it refueled my soul.

At the end, the Rev. Dr. William Barber preached and at the end he said, “Standing down is not an option.” It isn’t. We all stood and yelled it back because sitting is no longer an option. It is morally imperative that we stand for justice, that we stand for the oppressed.

So I began 2017 standing and will continue the fight for justice for all people because that is what humanity is called to do. “Standing down is not an option” in this new year.

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